Students celebrate first responders on 9/11 and here in Green Country

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 9/12/2012 9:21 am Published: 9/11/2012 5:13 pm

Flags are flying at half staff today marking the 11th anniversary of the day hijacked planes hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

Back here in Tulsa, students are stopping to remember the first responders of 9/11 and here in Green Country.

A week ago today, the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences burned to the ground. Now, the students are honoring those heroes while keeping in mind that terrorism can happen anywhere.

"We've been talking about our supreme gratitude in our crisis, and just how indebted we are for their sacrifice and those that were injured,” says Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences principal, Liesa Smith.

Smith knows what it’s like to walk through a tragedy and come out the other side.

"As we moved into a new building, we were thinking about our space and how to make it safe. I mean all students in all schools are thinking about terrorism in lots of different ways,” she says.

On Tuesday, the students were making thank you cards to give to local firefighters. The events of 9/11 and the loss of their school building capture just how important a role first responder’s play.

"It demonstrates just how dependent we are on them in those moments of weakness when we can't do for ourselves,” says Smith.

Besides our heroes in uniform, Oklahoma has a piece of 9/11 right here in Bixby at Washington Irving Park. It’s a piece of the World Trade Center and it’s a constant reminder of what happened in New York just 11 years ago. It also begs the question, are we as a nation prepared to spot the signs of terrorism?

"I don't think that people are and I don't think that they are aware enough of their surroundings,” says Major Shannon Clark with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

There is a concern among law enforcement that people aren’t reporting suspicious activity when confronted with it.

"People have to look at the structures in downtown Tulsa. Every building is a potential terrorist target,” says Clark.

Here are some signs of terrorism that you should be looking for:
  • An unattended bag in a public place
  • someone taking pictures of a building or jotting down plans that have no relevance being there
  • people suspiciously looking at dams for possible signs of weakness
Whether you’re in a public place or not, it’s always a good idea to constantly be on your guard and report anything unusual to local law enforcement.

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