United in kindness

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Herricks Middle School students celebrate Unity Day. (Photo courtesy of Herricks Public Schools)

Herricks Middle School took the nationwide Unity Day celebration on Oct. 25 as an opportunity to demonstrate good character, inspired by the courageous acts of an individual who is remembered for his heroism on Sept. 11 , 2001.

Welles Remy Crowther was a 24-year-old equities trader who sacrificed his own life in order to save others following the attacks. He was dubbed “the Man in the Red Bandana” based on survivors’ stories of their rescuer. He has been featured in documentaries, articles and books detailing the tragedy and highlighting the importance of people helping one another.

Crowther’s mother visited the middle school on Sept. 28 and shared her son’s impactful story with seventh- and eighth-graders. Teachers discussed the subject with students prior to the visit and wore red bandanas as a symbol of respect and honor.

Unity Day sends messages of support, hope and unity to illustrate that people are together and united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion. This year, in addition to wearing orange as an expression of solidarity, Herricks Middle School students wrote down their own act of kindness on labels, which were affixed to a display board on a wall next to a red bandana.

More than 1,000 acts of kindness were shared as students drew upon Crowther’s bravery and worked to make a positive difference.

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