The tragedy of September 11, 2001 created a chain reaction leading to an uproar of patriotism. From that day forward, a new nation was created and stood for one cause — to be united as one. Prosper High School has held a theme every year, beginning with “Believe in the Hype” and transpiring to “We Own This,” although, now it has one theme that will forever hold a special place in high school students hearts — “We Are One.” Those three words signify a unity in the school, community, and town, showing that no matter the obstacles thrown in our direction, the students will stand together in unity. The theme was on display during the USA Pep Rally at Prosper High School.

On the fifteenth anniversary of 9-11, all current military, veterans and first responders were invited to be honored at the high school’s pep rally for their services and what they continue to do for the country.

Beginning with students cheering on the veterans and first responders as they were led in by the drum line, marines retrieved and posted the colors, filling the arena with remembrance and acknowledgment for the men and women who risked their lives for the well being of others.

The pep rally started with an original song written by Ty Bowman and composed by the school broadcast program, Eagle Nation News. The song represented a sense of unity despite the division currently going on throughout the country.

“I wrote this song to bring our school and country together, especially with it being around 9/11,” senior Ty Bowman said. “I felt since that event made our country united and become one, and that’s all Prosper is about. Being one.”

The lyrics of the song, “stand up to your feet because we haven’t been defeated. Yes, our country stands together in the times we really need it,” relay a deeper message than any other part of the song as they can relate to every public service man and woman to step on that arena floor.

Senior Zack McConell stood in the center of the arena floor as the Marines began posting the colors, filling the air with the national anthem. The emotions were apparent throughout the arena, leaving many teary-eyed after hearing the lyrics and realizing the true meaning behind the words. The Marines then posted the colors as every soul stood in silent gratitude and reflection.

The school used 2,500 waving flags to greet the 100-plus guests in the school. Each student held one of the 2,5000 flags. The arena was charged with energy, heightened by a fireworks display.

“The USA Pep Rally is a way that Prosper High School shows our love for the United States of America and gives us a positive platform to show our appreciation for who I would personally call the true American heroes,” Principal Greg Wright said.

Wright has held this pep rally for the past four years at Prosper High School and has gotten more feedback from parents, students, faculty, and members of the community saying this may have been one of the most moving and unbelievable pep rallies held yet.

“I thought what they did this year was tremendous,” high school engineering teacher and current manager of a disaster response team Don Berliner said. “Walking through that tunnel, it was pretty moving. There were days I put on my uniform and it was 4 o’clock in the morning and I’m wondering what in the world I’m doing, but days like that remind me we do it for everybody, it’s not just for us and it’s good to feel that appreciation sometimes. There is no way I could even begin to describe it.”

As a surprise to everyone, two veterans who were seated in the crowd, John Walters of Rescue 1 and Jeff Cool of Rescue 3 were on active duty on the day of 9-11 in New York City and were a part of the rescue teams that saved thousands of lives. They were each presented a small gift and standing ovation from all the students, faculty and community members.

“The true American Heroes are the first responders, current military, and veterans,” Wright said at the rally.