SALT LAKE CITY — Some students building a 9/11 memorial in front of Skyline High School were not even born at the time of the terrorist attacks, but they still are actively encouraging Americans to "never forget."
Skyline senior Hallie Scott, who started the school's chapter of Young Americans for Freedom this year, was only 6 months old on Sept. 11, 2001, but she still feels it's important to help people to remember the day as "a time where our country was attacked, but a time where our country came together as one."
"A lot of people in high school don't even remember," Scott said, "so this is to help remind and keep alive the memory of all the lives that were lost."
Young Americans for Freedom is a nationwide student group that promotes traditional American values, Scott said, and hundreds of high school and college chapters honor the 2,977 lives lost during the 9/11 terrorist attacks by placing 2,977 American flags in the ground.
The national group calls the event, which started in 2003, "Project Never Forget."
Scott raised the funds to buy the miniature flags from her neighbors and the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter.
"Without them, I couldn't have done it," she said.
Scott said she formed the club and organized the 9/11 memorial because of her love for her country.
"Everyone who knows me knows that I'm, like, the most patriotic person," she said.
Josh Woolston, the secretary of the club, was 6 months from being born at the time of the attacks.
"I don't view it as a part of my life," he said, "but I view it as part of my family's life."
He said 9/11 inspired his older brother to join the armed forces, where he now is a member of the National Guard.
Young Americans for Freedom focuses on conservative values, Woolston said, but not necessarily the Republican Party. They advocate for free speech, especially at schools that have a more liberal bias.
The club has a number of other events that are also held nationwide by other Young Americans for Freedom chapters, Scott said. These include "No More Che Day," where they oppose the trend of youth seeing Che Guevara as an icon, and "Freedom Week," which includes building a replica Berlin Wall and allowing students to spray paint it and later knock it down.
Syd Lott, the club's faculty adviser, said he admires the students' effort to remember 9/11 and the club as a whole. He teaches multiple subjects at Skyline, including government.
"Just the basic idea of having politically active clubs and having kids get politically active is super exciting to me," he said. "Any opportunity to help the kids do anything politically active, I think is great."
The school also has political clubs that are more liberal, he said.