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Cowell Schools Patriot Day honors first responders
Joshua Cowell Elementary School students are shown holding one of the posters that will be used to decorate the Peace courtyard where Patriot Day will be celebrated on Thursday, Sept. 11. - photo by Photo Contributed

The third annual Patriot Day celebration at Joshua Cowell Elementary School will honor all first responders.

The event, which commemorates the horrific terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 that killed nearly 3,000 people, will be held Thursday, Sept. 11, during the 9 a.m. student assembly in the school’s Peace courtyard.

“The celebration is open to the public and we invite people to come, especially first responders,” said Principal Bonnie Bennett.

As the guests of honor this year, they will be seated in a special section in the courtyard, she said.

Manteca High’s JROTC Color Guard will be doing the honors of posting the colors at the beginning of the outdoor program which will include students delivering speeches.

As they have done in previous years on Patriot Day, Joshua Cowell students will be bringing items that will be sent in care packages to troops overseas. Partnering with the school in this project is the Cpl. Charles O. Palmer II Memorial Troop Support Program of Manteca which will be packing and mailing the students’ donations to 

American soldiers who are serving their country overseas.

Charles and Teri Palmer and the school are asking for donations from the community to help pay the costs of sending the care packages to the soldiers.

“Any help would be appreciated,” Bennett said.

Each care package costs $15.45 to mail.

Capping the morning celebration will be an aerial photo session that will have all students, staff and first responders lining up in the fields on campus to spell out huge USA letters.

Cowell’s first Patriot Day celebration in 2012 honored soldiers and was attended by Congressman Jeff Denham, R-Turlock. For last year’s second annual event, veterans were the recipients of this distinctive honor.