By Matthew Piechalak | 

Two days after the 20th Anniversary of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks, Francis Parker School Middle and Upper School students, along with faculty and staff, gathered below the flag pole on the School’s Linda Vista Campus for a memorial ceremony. Slowly and silently, the School community congregated in the spaces around A Building for what is an annual tradition on campus.  

The brief ceremony featured speeches by Parker Head of School Kevin Yaley and Sophie White, Class of 2023, who each addressed the school community with powerful words of remembrance. 

“We stand as a Parker community to remember the 2,977 lives lost in the two World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and Flight 93 on September 11, 2001,” Sophie said. “For us students, that day created a ripple effect across our society, shaping the world that we live in today.” 

Sophie urged her peers, none of whom were alive 20 years ago, to remember that like the World Trade Center community and the Pentagon community, Parker, too, is a community. 

“A community is always stronger than just one,” Sophie said. “So I challenge you all to go forward to honor the legacy of 9/11 by looking beyond ourselves and thinking of our community.” 

Following the speeches, everyone in attendance turned to face the flag pole for a flag-raising ceremony. With the flag positioned at half-mast in remembrance of all the lives lost on 9/11, the Parker community stood for a moment of silence, a gesture of respect and mourning.