During the next week or so, the Parent-Teacher-Student Association at Alexis I. du Pont High School expects to plant some 6,000 daffodil bulbs -- one for every victim of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.

Purpose of the project, according to parent Sandy Poppiti, who is coordinating the effort, is to create a memorial that will renew itself each spring.

"It will help keep their memory alive. When people go by here it'll remind them of what happened," said student Mike Merritt.

 
A.I. du Pont High School students who turned out to begin the planting project.

"We think people will remember this for a long time," added student Stephanie Woods.

The flowers will bloom on a plot of ground which separates the parking area in front of the school from Hillside Road in Greenville. They will be evident throughout the year but each spring will come forth with an array of mostly yellow blossoms, explained Steve Castorano, a parent who owns Gateway, a garden shop in Hockessin.

It was his wife, Peg, who came up with the idea both as a way of expressing solidarity with the victims and beautifying the school. The P.T.S.A. adopted the idea quickly and several students have been enthusiastic about it, Poppiti said. The organization expects to raise between $1,500 and $2,000 to finance the project.

Student volunteers turned out on Oct. 21 to begin the planting, but ran into difficulty drilling holes in the drought-hardened ground. The organizing committee decided to seek professional help to do that later in the week. After that, each of the bulbs will be put in place individually.

Student Mike Pulish said the display "will make a statement and raise consciousness" among those who see it.

The attacks "were a wake-up call for our generation," said student Deepa Rao. "A lot of us were too comfortable thinking something like that couldn't happen here."

Posted on October 21, 2001

2001. All rights reserved.

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