HAZEL GREEN, Ala. - A lot of us paused on September 11 to remember the tragic events of 9-11-2001. So did a lot of students who weren't even alive then. One was so moved, she put her thoughts on paper.
Taylor Moore is a 14-year-old freshman at Hazel Green High School. “Loving high school,” she said, “I am a science geek or nerd, you could say. I love to read, write.” Just an average kid. “Pretty much, yeah,” she said with a smile.
But what she did recently is anything but average. On the anniversary of 9-11, Taylor's history class watched news coverage from that horrific day. What she saw moved her to write two letters. “It made me think of my father whenever I wrote it because I wrote it to the Hazel Green fire department and to the police department,” she told me.
Taylor comes from a family of first responders. Her mother is a retired Emergency Medical Technician. Her father is a firefighter. But the words she wrote are for everyone who protects and serves. “I wrote it to thank them for everything they've done,” she said. “I just feel like they're doing their job in the right way, helping people when they need it and just basically saving the community the best they can.”
The letters were her way of showing her appreciation for those who put themselves in harm's way to help others. “I feel like they don't get enough thanks from people in this world,” Taylor said, “It made me feel special that I did something really nice for someone that I've never done before.”
But she didn’t write them for that reason. “I did it just to make everyone good on the inside and out,” she said. A few simple words written on a piece of notebook paper touched a lot of hearts, including Madison County Deputy Terrance Petty. He’s the school resource officer at Hazel Green. “I was very touched because in the days and time we're in now, for you to make an impression on a young person's life that looks up to what you do every day, it lets you know that what you're doing is not in vain,” he said.
Taylor gave the letters to Deputy Petty. He shared them with Brent Patterson who is the public information officer for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. “It had the thin blue line on it and reading it, it choked you up. It did me,” Patterson said. “Thank you is awesome but when you have a ninth grader that goes above and beyond to write their heartfelt feelings on paper, that's huge.”
Law enforcement officers don’t get letters like the one Taylor wrote every day. “No, this is my first,” Patterson said. “In 28 years, this is the first one I've seen from a student that said hey, thank you.” He shared the letter on social media. But it’s even more moving when you read what Taylor wrote.
“Good morning, I am writing to you today because I want to thank you for everything you have done for our country and state. My name is Taylor Moore and I am 14 years old. Yes, I know it's September 11th and I hope you understand what you did for us. I hope to be in law enforcement when I'm older. I hope you have a great rest of your week. Thanks for everything,” signed Taylor Moore.
Taylor plans to follow in her mom and dad’s footsteps but she’s not sure whether she’ll be an EMT, a firefighter or a law enforcement officer. “As long as I'm here to help,” she added. Taylor’s letter will be framed. Deputy Petty is going to hang it on the wall of his office at Hazel Green High.