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Girls Inc. participants join 'I will' campaign

People pledged to do good deeds on Sept. 11 in tribute to victims, survivors and emergency responders

September 08, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com
  • Girls Inc. members Molly Knepper, left, Lexi Poper, center, and Arianna Ball, right, work on the "I Will" paper project Thusday afternoon at Girls Inc. in Hagerstown.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

They're too young to remember Sept. 11, 2001, but on the tenth anniversary of the attacks this Sunday, many of the participants in Girls Inc. of Washington County have big plans.

"I will donate blood so I can show my goodness and time."

"I will pray for the families that lost loved ones."

"I will plant trees and flowers for them."

"I will try to keep peace with everyone I know."

Scrawled in colorful marker on large sheets of brown paper between peace signs, flowers and crosses, the pledges were among the dozens made Thursday as part of the "I will" campaign, a national movement encouraging people to do good deeds on Sept. 11 in tribute to the victims, survivors and emergency responders.

The 9/11 Tribute Movement encourages people to submit "I will" pledges on its website, 911day.org. But the idea to write them on sheets of butcher paper was inspired by the rolls of paper in Union Square where thousands of people wrote their thoughts on the afternoon of the attacks and the days that followed, Girls Inc. program counselor Jenn Dorsch said.

The event was open to the public, and several adults — mostly the girls' parents and participants in a senior center activity — also signed the papers, Dorsch said.

Rachel Cranfield of Hagerstown took the opportunity to add her pledge, to remember the brave firefighters and policemen who risked their lives on Sept. 11, when she arrived to pick up her niece.

"I think it's a good idea," Cranfield said of the "I will" project. "It makes people think about 9/11 and what happened on that day, and all the people's lives that were lost that day."

Many of the "I will" statements were about remembering or thinking of those affected by the attacks, but some were more unique.

"I will build a block tower and glue it together," one person had written.

Bryanna Walls, 12, of Hagerstown, said she planned to give food to people in need on Sunday.

Alanis Graham, 11, of Hagerstown, planned to make food for local firefighters, noting that she wished she could give food to the New York firefighters who responded at the twin towers.

Alanis said she didn't know much about Sept. 11 until she saw a program about the attacks on the Discovery Channel.

"I just burst out in tears," she said. "It was so sad and terrible."

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