SEPTEMBER 11

Leckie Elementary School honors victims of 9/11

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Leckie Elementary School in Southwest D.C. on Friday remembered a student, teacher, and four parents who lost their lives at the Pentagon during the 9/11 attacks.

Courtney Brown, who spoke to the gathering Friday, was a third grader at Leckie when her sixth grade brother Bernard and his teacher Hilda Taylor joined other D.C. students and teachers and their National Geographic chaperons for a science field trip to San Francisco.

Gwendolyn Faulkner snapped the last picture.

"I just remember the joy and the happiness and the dedication of the teachers,” Faulker said. “Their excited for people able to take the students out on this field experience."

The Wilson High School choir left many in tears as they wove the victims names into a popular song. They also remembered Leckie parents Martha Ratchford and Johnnie Doctor. Former principal Clementine Homesley recalled no one picking up the Ratchford children that day.

"And I saw her two children. It just took my heart away because I knew she worked at the Pentagon," Homesley said.

A lot of family members avoided this ceremony. But Courtney, now a students at Old Dominion University, treasures her memories of Bernard.

"Our first Christmas here we got mountain bikes and I didn't know how to ride a bike,” Courtney said. “He was riding down the hill, and I was.. I want to do it too and I rode the hill I bust my chin wide open. Trying to be like him, but he was my best friend.”

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