Guess what other kids kept asking Fulton High School senior Aubrey Salm about during her year as an AFS exchange student Germany?
Guns. Particularly after the February massacre at Parkland, Florida.
“There was a lot of fear of guns.”
The discussions grew even more intense when her classmates learned that Aubrey attended the same school as Zaevion Dobson, the Fulton sophomore who was murdered on a neighbor’s back porch in 2015 (Aubrey was a year behind Zaevion, who has been internationally celebrated for sacrificing his life to shield his friends).
“They kept asking me ‘Why can’t the government fix this?’”
She’s back home with her parents, Barbara Salm and Cathie Brewer, for her senior year at Fulton and was the featured speaker at this month’s Democratic Women of Knoxville’s meeting.
“I was astonished by the kindness of the other students.”
Her first host family and school were in Frankfort, in northern Germany. Her classmates included lots of immigrants from Turkey and Syria.
While in Germany, she visited the large cities of Hamburg and Berlin and the small country of Luxembourg before she relocated to the city of Heidelberg, in the southern part of the country, where she spent Christmas. There, she met her new best friend, Anna, an AFS student from Slovenia.
She learned a lot of things, including a new language and to appreciate unfamiliar foods – particularly schnitzel – and says she’s a glad that she took the leap and “ventured outside the box.”
911 memorial to be held on Sharp’s Ridge
The Veterans Heritage Site Foundation will host the second annual Sept. 11 National Remembrance Day ceremony at the Sharp’s Ridge overlook Tuesday, Sept. 11.
It will begin with a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. – the exact time that American Air Lines Flight 11 slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan – followed by a Navy veteran playing taps. Participants need to arrive before 8:30 so the ceremony can start on time.
This event is part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance and will honor local police officers and firefighters. Rural Metro firefighters will receive a Veterans Heritage Site Appreciation Award.
“This is the second year we’ve done this,” said Marilyn Childress, spokesperson for the foundation. “It’s an annual event to honor first responders and veterans.”
The foundation will also give its annual Eagle Award to a veteran for outstanding service to Knox County.
After the 30-minute ceremony, there will be a cleanup event in coordination with the Keep Knoxville Clean project. Water will be provided and participants will receive a T-shirt.
Open Streets ahead
On Sunday, Sept. 30, 2-6 p.m. Open Streets Knoxville will return north, closing Broadway to motorized traffic from East Glenwood Ave. to Emory Place. Mayor Madeline Rogero said this is the seventh Open Streets event in the city – “a great way to experiences businesses and neighborhoods in a fresh new way.”
The popular events have featured music and dancing performances, vendor booths with games and an array of street performers and food trucks. It’s family-friendly and pet-friendly. Strollers, scooters, skateboards and bikes are welcome – just no cars.