Each school year, Northport is pleased and proud to present to our students many different educational experiences about the tragedy of September 11, 2001. This year has been no different. Students in Melanie Polascak’s fifth grade class learned about the Survivor’s Tree which withstood the fall of the Twin Towers. Students made their own quilt to display in the school hallway to remember the Survivor’s Tree. Students also signed a “Northport American Children’s Pledge” to be great citizens of the United States of America. Those pledges line the hallways of Northport. The “Northport American Children’s Pledge” was recited over the intercom on 9/11 following the Pledge of Allegiance.
On 9/11/15, Northport Media Center hosted a moving and auspicious program that included thoughts from retired longtime instructor, Mary Toto, who was teaching at Northport on 9/11; Maryanne Warren, Student Assistance counselor; and retired New Your City police detective, Albert Hickey. Detective Hickey was a First Responder at Ground Zero on 9/11. He is an excellent primary source for our students as he told his story and students then directed questions in “Leadership Summit” format. Detective Hickey answered deep and often times sad questions realizing that much of the instruction of the day was new material.
Also present was a large contingency of “Northport Veteran Partners In Education.” The program was dedicated not only to the 3,000 souls who lost their lives on 9/11, but to the eight children who perished that day. The Northport media center has since been dedicated and renamed “Northport 9/11 Children’s Memorial Library” to honor the lives of those children, but to also remind our students that learning about 9/11 must continue and that each must be a good citizen of the most wonderful and free country in the world.
The program ended at the flag pole in front of the school where teachers and veterans, Nick Carey and Christine Nurse raised, then lowered the American flag to half staff. Flags were posted for each of the eight children who perished and the National Anthem and several other songs were sung to commemorate the day.