While many Americans are remembering the brave first responders who gave their lives on September 11, 2001, students at Cherokee Ridge Elementary School in Chickamauga are celebrating the first responders who serve in their community.

Students gave law enforcement members in Walker County a school-wide standing ovation for their service.

"We want to honor our local heroes," School Principal Lori Vann told Channel 3.

With signs and card in tow, faculty and students at took Wednesday to say 'thank you'.

"They do a lot for us and they really don't get as much as they should," 5th grader Shea Crowley said.

School officials told Channel 3 it was the least they could do for those who often go without thanks.

"It's an honor to serve our community and it's an honor when we come into schools like this to see the children that are encouraging us for what we do," said Deputy Sheriff Bradley Battles.

On the 18th anniversary of a day thousands of first responders in New York sacrificed their own lives to protect civilians during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, more than 500 students lined the hallways.

"Somebody before us gave their all so that we can stand here today," Battles told Channel 3. "It's just a special day to honor those who died and the terrible thing that happened," said 5th grader Della Harris.

Students and staff shouted and cheered for the local law enforcement members who keep their community safe.

"We were all trying to really create a card and give them a big thank you and scream their names and say thank you," Crowley recalled.

"There's tons of people out there that are constantly everyday getting the help they need from these people and these people are helping them out...it's just awesome," 5th grader Logan Ledford told Channel 3.

For local first responders hearing those two words meant a lot. "They don't know how much of a help they are to ourselves," Battles said.

It was almost as impactful as students finding a reason to celebrate in spite of the tragedy.