GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- Guntersville city leaders challenged the community to give back in honor of the September 11, 2001 anniversary. The idea is to do something for someone to remember the service and sacrifice of so many that day and the days afterward. Some students decided to do a small act, that wasn't really small at all.
"Thank you, police officers, for making my city safe to live in," read Guntersville Middle School student Cadence Kikuyama.
Those two little words - thank you - were scattered throughout the dozens of letters written by herself and her peers.
"Thank you for keeping me safe throughout the years," read Baylee Lamons' letter.
"You could be doing anything right now, but you chose to protect us," continued Kikuyama.
The notes are a small gesture to make sure the people who run toward the danger, rather than away from it, know their actions have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated. "I like how you think of others before you think of yourself," Lamons read.
The Guntersville Middle School students wrote the notes as a thank you to the responders who serve their city every day.
City leaders challenged the community to give back this week as the nation marked 16 years since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Organizations, schools and businesses have been doing service projects in Guntersville all throughout the week. From an appreciation breakfast for first responders, to bringing the fire department a cake, to collecting donations for hurricane victims. Each project showed caring, just like so many people showed that day 16 years ago.
"These students weren't even born when it happened," said Guntersville Middle School social studies teacher Jennifer Teall. "I think it's important for them to see the events that took place and for them to remember those who lost their lives, including the first responders."
"Kids at my age now, they should already know the events that occurred, what America has suffered and been through," said student Tay Armmer.
Each note is different, but each one has the same underlying message: thanks. "Because they have worked every day to keep us safe and to make sure we're okay," Lamons said. "I just felt like they deserved some praise for all they've done, because they're just not getting enough," added Kikuyama.
Each letter ended with two little words, that somehow, just don't seem to be enough.