Students dressed in red, white and blue along with staff at Ludington Area Catholic School stood outside by the school’s flag pole Friday to honor and pray for those men and women who died on Sept. 11, 19 years ago, but also for peace in area families and communities.

“We are thankful for those who keep us safe, the fire, police, first responders, teachers, healthcare workers, our priests,” said Principal Jan Bigalke. “We (school) are being very proactive in teaching what it means to be a good citizen and treating all people with dignity and respect and caring for our neighbors.”

During the 20-minute prayer service students social distanced from one another physically, but came together as a school community to pray for families who lost loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001, during the attack on America. The group not only prayed for first responders and the military, but also local, state and federal elected officials and all the leaders of the country.

Following the prayer service, Bigalke walked to the flag pole where she placed an American flag that was flown in Afghanistan during Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. It was presented to her family by Chaplain Maj. Robbie Deka of the U.S. Air Force.

The flag was flown at half staff on Friday. Following the prayer service, students and staff sang, “God Bless America.”