Oak Ridge cannot be separated from its history of national importance. With this history and reputation, the community of Oak Ridge also recognizes the pride and responsibility which accompany it.
This can readily be seen in the actions taken by the city concerning the terrorist attack on 9-11. While Oak Ridge went under radical security changes, the community respected the stricter regulations. Although it was years ago when the city was considered a possible target for attacks, an emergency siren echoes the severity of that possibility the first Wednesday of each month. The siren test can be heard across the city. However, it is not the fact that Oak Ridgers mourned with the nation, continued to work and bear the changes or refused to panic unnecessarily. It is the way the community came together to honor the victims and heroes of our nation, like so many other communities did at that time.
Some Oak Ridgers, however, were concerned that not everyone in the nation had the resources to truly grasp the weight of the event, or at least to hold its memory in their hearts against the test of time. ORHS history teacher and student council faculty advisor Ken Senter was one of these people. Thatís why he got the student council, all faculty and students, the community and local and state leaders to help with a project which everyone was enthusiastic to take part in. The project planned to bring pieces of the rubble from the World Trade Center to high schools across the nation so Americaís youth would continue to remember and learn from this event. The Student Council of Oak Ridge High School partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create the WTC Steel Foundation. The plan then became a reality when pieces of steel were brought to ORHS to build the first memorial. The project is still working to bring these memorials to a high school in the capital of every state, as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Those who wish to support the project should visit http://www.wtcsteel.org/.