Sept. 12, 2022 - Excerpt From Superintendent’s 9/11 Address

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PATERSON ­– The following is an excerpt from Superintendent of School’s Eileen F. Shafer’s 9/11 address delivered this morning at the ceremony held at Eastside High School by the school’s JROTC Mighty Ghost Battalion.

“Twenty-one years ago, the United States experienced the worst day in its history. Thousands of lives were lost in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Flight 93’s crash in a field in Pennsylvania. Countless more lives were impacted by those attacks. Children lost their parents. Spouses lost their cherished loved ones. Parents lost children. Those of us who lived through that day remember feeling that we were attacked in ways we never could have imagined. As we saw the skyscrapers in New York City crumble to the ground against the backdrop of a beautiful September morning, the future never felt more uncertain.

But even in the midst of that profound uncertainty, there were moments that gave us a guide to our future. One of those moments was captured by Tom Franklin, a photographer for The Record of Bergen County. He took the iconic photograph of the three firefighters at Ground Zero unfurling the American flag where the World Trade Center stood tall just a few hours earlier.

That moment was a reminder of what it means to be an American ­– that in our most uncertain moments, we must never forget who we are – strong, resilient, and willing to help one another – especially in times of crisis. And, as Americans, we vowed never to forget that day.

That is why we will always pray for the families who lost loved ones on that day and work to protect the future of our nation as a beacon of democracy, faith, and hope for everyone.”