On September 11, 2007 members of the Oconee County and Spartanburg County Racing pigeon clubs in cooperation with Starr Elementary
School held a memorial pigeon release to commemorate the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Tommy Axson and Jack Clark of the Oconee club along Mike Mckinney of the Spartanburg club were on hand to talk with students
about the race birds and let the children pet and get an up close look at the birds. There were over 750 students, teachers
and administrators along with a member of the Armed Forces in attendance. The students were carrying flags and spread a Flag
that they had made in class on the lawn.
There were opening remarks by the principal and Tommy Axson after which the children recited the Pledge of Allegiance
to the Flag. At exactly 9:11 am 290 birds were released. Much to the pleasure of the children, the two flocks, one from each
side of the trailer, met over the field, made a wide sweep around the grounds then headed out.
The sounds of OOOHs and AAAHs could barely be heard over the sound of 750 pairs of hands clapping. After the birds made their
way out, the children headed back to the classrooms. Each of the fliers took a Pigeon and went back to a classroom with a
group of children for a close up and personal with a Race Bird. We each spent about 30 minutes in the room answering some
very good questions.
This all came about when one of the teachers contacted Tommy Axson when she found a lost bird at her house. She was so
impressed and interested in the birds that she decided she wanted to share them with her class. Then the principal heard about
it and one thing led to another until it ended up as a school wide memorial ceremony. It was a very rewarding experience for
Thank you to the Children, Faculty and Staff of Starr Elementary School in Starr, South Carolina for allowing us the pleasure
and privilege to share our passion and our sport with you.