On Wednesday, September 27, a group of several students of different grades, churches, and backgrounds gathered around the flag pole at Eagle River High School to pray in unity for the school, its staff, and the students. This event is known as “See You at the Pole” and has been occurring internationally for more than 25 years.
Each year, students in different time zones around the world gather to partake in this event, which is part of a week-long function known as The Global Week of Student Prayer. The goal of these events is to purposefully encourage students to discover new and different times, places, and ways to pray, as well as to promote prayer in younger generations.
Despite the cool weather and darkness, shortly after 7:10 in the morning, a student began to lead the group in prayer, and others began following one another’s prayers as they deemed fit. Each student who participated had different requests on their hearts. Some prayed silently, others out loud. Some prayed for protection, others prayed for the well-being of everyone in the school, and some students prayed for peace and courage.
While many students were not aware of this event and its purpose, Aletha Bennett did know See You at the Pole was taking place, and encouraged it. “It’s a good idea. I think it’s a cool experience and a good way to get people who have common beliefs to get together.” There were a wide variety of other reactions as well. One freshman, Madelyn Huse, stated, “I guess it’s a good thing if it’s for the school.” Another student shared about the first amendment, and how everyone has the right to religious freedoms. Carolyn Pope, a new student to Eagle River High, expressed, “It seems cool. My last school did it.” Junior J.T. Cripps, although not religious himself, also encouraged and supported this gathering, “I do understand the value of religion; I understand how that’s important to other people, and I can respect that. I would encourage people to be open about their religious beliefs or practices.” He also noted, “I think it is perfectly fine for an individual, or a group of individuals, to practice their religion freely, or their praying religiously.”