9 11 Memorial at Cherry Avenue
A 9/11 Memorial Demonstrating
Respect and Gratitude
at Cherry Avenue
Although the actual event occurred at “a time when many of you weren’t born yet,” the elementary students at Cherry Avenue participated in a brief ceremony to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
The tribute, held in front of the school, gathered the Cherry Avenue community, comprised of students holding their hand-crafted paper flags, teachers, staff, Site-Based and PTA members, and parents. Joining them were West Sayville Fire Department Chief Schroeder along with Chief McNamara, several West Sayville volunteers, and the color guard. Adding importance and excitement to the occasion was a West Sayville Fire Truck prominently parked in the bus loop.
Planned for the past two years by the Cherry Avenue Site-Based Team in anticipation of the ten-year anniversary, the memorial ceremony marked for the students a pivotal moment in our nation’s recent history. However, toning down the tears and tragedy, the ceremony focused rather on showing respect for those who were lost and demonstrating gratitude for all who responded with heroism and compassion.
After opening the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance that was recited by the entire assembly, Principal Dr. John Stimmel struck the right balance for the students, between solemnity and seriousness, during his words of welcome. He encouraged the children to understand the occasion as a special day of quiet remembrance for those who passed as well as an occasion of “profound” thanks for all who protected and served us.
Dr. Stimmel ended his address with a moment of respectful silence. This was immediately followed by the entire assembly singing God Bless America led by music teacher Kristi Woerner.
Impressed by the students' model behavior during the ceremony, Dr. Stimmel summed up what everyone felt, “the kids were GREAT!”