An estimated three million students prayed around school flagpoles Wednesday morning, across the country and taking part in the "See You at the Pole" rally.
Students gathered around the flagpole at Union High School at daybreak.
They sang Christian songs, and even as the rally began, the experience moved some to stretch their arms toward the sky. After the flag was raised for the day, the students broke into small groups for prayer and confession. Most prayed silently, but some chanted and dropped to their knees.
The students, most from the school's two Christian clubs, say their faith directs their daily lives. "I wake up in the morning and if I'm tired I just pray for strength and the Lord gives it to me by faith," said Union junior Ryan Boyls. "He just gives me courage and strength to proclaim his name."
Students organized the rally. Bridgette Tomlin, the youth pastor at Hope Worship Center, watched from the back of the crowd, encouraged by what she saw. "It helps the kids see the other Christians who they can turn to, who they can confide in, who they can work with," said Tomlin. "It helps them know they're not alone."
The students met for an hour, then went to their classes, believing the time spent in prayer will help them and their school. The "See You at the Pole" rally began in Texas in 1990 and has since become a nationwide event.