On the 12th anniversary of the tragic events of 9-11, a somber tribute was held. Locust Valley High School Junior Joe Tancredi sang God Bless America over the public address system while Middle School and High School students and staff reflected on the meaning of this day. Joe’s rendition of this patriotic song followed a reading by Social Studies Chairperson David Ethe. Mr. Ethe remembered those that were lost and honored those who are heroes. That tribute can be found below.
There is no question that the members of our generation will never forget exactly where they were and what they were doing on September 11, 2001. It was on the picture-perfect September morning, just 12 years ago, that the crystal blue sky was darkened by an unexpected attack upon our nation. The events of 9/11 forever changed our country, stealing a piece of innocence from every man, woman, and child in our great nation. There's no denying that our country was fundamentally transformed on that morning as we became understandably concerned with the security of our families and the defense of our shores. While our attackers certainly achieved their goal of shaking America to its core, they failed to break the rock-solid spirit that makes us strong. While 9/11 will always elicit thoughts of tragedy, it will also evoke memories of the courageous and generous nature inherent in our American soul. We will never forget the pictures of brave first responders rushing towards danger to save the lives of individuals they never met.  We will always recall the thousands of ordinary citizens who waited hours for the opportunity to donate blood.  Likewise, we will be forever proud of the spontaneous outbursts of patriotism that erupted in our communities and galvanized us in the weeks and months after the attacks. From the darkest hours of that day emerged some of our greatest stories of heroism as we learned that Americans are capable of tremendous sacrifice in the hour of maximum need.

So as we search for the appropriate way to remember 9/11 this year, let us honor the brave souls who lost their lives on that fateful day and think of the families whose existence was forever changed by this senseless act of violence. Let us also remember that the things that bind our people are far greater than those that divide us. The fact that we passionately disagree, vigorously debate, and energetically challenge one another is not an indication that our nation is broken but a clear sign that our democracy is functioning exactly as intended. Let us give thanks for the blessing of living in the most honorable and welcoming country the world has ever known and be grateful for the privilege of calling ourselves Americans.

As we sit down to dinner this week, let's take an extra moment to remind our families of the sacrifices that have been made so we can enjoy the wonders of liberty. Let's pause and hug our loved ones a little tighter and give thanks for our opportunities and privileges, which are unmatched in the history of our world.