Monthly Archives: September 2011
By Nina Marie Amadeo, Alex Taglieri and Erin Heidlberger
The usually bland cafeteria was covered in streamers that formed a circus tent and the ceiling pulsed with lights in the shape of music notes. Students were impressed with the decorations, but the highest praise went to DJ George.
Freshman Kyle Baird remarked on the “…awesome music and great people. They really outdid themselves”, he said of the sponsors, the senior class.
“I like the dancing, and the people, and the music. I like the whole thing, it’s a great night,”
added sophomore Justin Lippert, also of Middletown.
“I’m really enjoying myself! The DJ’s amazing. I never went to my middle school dances, I’m really glad I came to this one,” said freshman Caroline Ibarra.
Senior Vice President Brian Murphy said the senior class will try and book the same DJ for prom. When asked about the theme, Murphy said it evolved over time.
“We were all trying to come up with a theme everyone would want to go to. It was originally going to be this grunge carnival thing, like the posters, but obviously that didn’t happen,” he said. “When I counted it up we’d bought about two miles of streamers and tons of balloons. I like this one, it all came together really well.”
Murphy also had high praise for senior class adviser Justine Lane, who he called “the reason our class is so successful and everyone has fun at our events.”
Lane said she wasn’t crazy about the theme at first.
“I needed to step back on this one and I’m very glad I did,” Lane said. “I have no idea why this dance was such a success, but I’m glad. I think the seniors are excited, the freshmen are just such a great class, the sophomores are finally coming into their own and the juniors are just nervous and excited about everything. You just get this feeling that it’s going to be such a great year.”
“The dance is a great way to start off the year,” said junior Jacob Pirogovsky. “You get to meet all the new students and see everyone again. What’s not to love?”
As if to emphasize his point, a chorus of screams ensued as all 225 students in attendance realized that the generic remix being played was actually “Tonight, Tonight” by Hot Chelle Rae. When everyone started to sing along, it truly felt like “a party on the rooftop, top of the world.”
BY ALLY KOWALSKI
MIDDLETOWN –The 37 lives Middletown lost on September 11, 2001, were honored last night during a memorial event called “Middletown Remembers Sept. 11,” a phrase also printed on the banners now hung from lamp posts and lining the streets by the Middletown train station.
Nicole Bemko, a freshman at Middletown North High School, a Girl Scout Cadette for Troop 1851, assisted at yesterday’s Sept. 11 Memorial event. This meant handing out carnations, programs, and mini American flags for those who came to visit, observe and mourn the victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center
“We wanted to help out and volunteer to show our respect,” Bemko said, who knows of one girl who lost her father in the attacks.
“It could’ve been anybody, at any time, on a different day,” Bemko said of the attack. Only a preschooler at the time of the events, she said that she does not remember the day too clearly, just the confusion of not knowing what was going on.
It was 6:35 p.m. when Middletown Mayor Anthony Fiore opened the ceremony, and the color guards marched in as the U.S. Navy presented the colors. Children of the victims of 9/11 then began to lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the St. Mary Parish Choir, who sang the national anthem. On their last note, roughly a dozen white doves were released into the air, flying over the crowd.
Mayor Fiore then addressed the crowd, explaining that despite its size, Middletown has always been a very tight-knit community, one that really came together during the tragedy. He expressed sadness that his daughters would never see the “majestic towers,” and said it was critical to teach the lessons from this event to younger generations.
His speech ended with the advice, “Never forget. Never surrender.”
Later in the ceremony, Senator Joesph M. Kyrillos, Jr. also commented on the “tight-knit” relationship the community showed, especially after the attacks.
“We went through the worst, but it brought out the best,” he said.
After a prayer from Rev. Scott Harris, the Candle Light ceremony began, and each family lit a candle on stage, then proceeded to walk through the gardens.
The gardens trail entrance was marked with a large arch that read, “World Trade Center Memorial Gardens,” and lead to a path through the trees that honored the victims of the attack. Each person had a stonehead with a picture of his or her face and a quote next to it. All had a single white candle on the ground next to it, and assorted flowers adorning each one. Others had seashells, rosaries, and one even had a small storybook on a stand.
Deanna Corio, of Middletown lost her uncle, Paul Nimbley. She said that looking back on the experience, she has learned to not take anything for granted.
After the concluding candle lighting ceremony, everyone was invited inside the Middletown Arts Center to see different pieces inspired by 9/11.
Maggie O’Brien, director of the Arts Center, said that people, most of whom were locals, submitted artwork to the center for the display on their own.
Puzzle pieces lined the walls in the entrance, and all in the main hallway. Some had obviously 9/11 references, or shared peace messages, while others had 3-D designs, and one even sported a picture of the Simpsons.
Further inside, photographs and paintings were displayed, and a craft table was set up for people of all ages to “create someone who you feel connected to.” The craft was in coordination with a project held by Amanda’s Easel.
Sue Griffin of Middletown waited outside in the hallway lined with puzzle pieces while she waited for her daughter to use the restroom. When trying to recall her day on Sept. 11, 2001, she paused for awhile, then said, “There’s just too much too remember.”
She said events like these are important, because, “you move on by remembering the past.” As she explained to her 7-year-old daughter, “Not everybody’s nice, you just have to keep doing what’s right.”
Looking back, she said, “People bond together and get through what’s terrible, and they come out stronger on the other end.”
BY MATTHEW GOLDMAN AND MICHAEL YU
CHS students and faculty members share their memories about September 11th in this emotional video about the tragic event.
By SARAH GLEASON
Cultural Communication’s Club (CCC) has already completed its first project of the new school year as part of Jersey Care’s Sept. 11 Day of Service and Remembrance.
The club, which has participated in Jersey Care events in the past, worked for three hours on Saturday, Sept. 10, at Camp Oakhurst on Monmouth Road in Ocean.
Jillian Gletow, who hosted the Oakhurst event, is the operations manager at Jersey Cares, located in Newark. She refers to herself as being “behind-the-scenes.”
“This is one of about 20 events this week,” she said.
Volunteers signed up to clean, garden, rake and perform general maintenance on the camping grounds.
Cultural Communications President Rachel Belli of Tinton Falls explained that Jersey Cares was an organization the CCC definitely wanted to be involved in.
“There’s a CCC team for Jersey Cares online where anyone can sign up. We’re just glad they’re interested in hosting our club,” she said.
Freshman newcomer Caroline Ibarra attended the event on Saturday. “I heard the advertisements and thought it would be fun because I like gardening. So I thought, ‘Why not?’”
Ibarra mentioned that even a week into school she thought CCC was a club she would be interested in.
Advisor Mrs. Sabina Campbell and the CCC council-members said the club is open to newcomers interested in joining.
By JESSIE KRAUS-LAVY
I woke up at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning to attend a Sept. 11 memorial. Although most others attended as another member of the crowd, I was lucky enough to be in there as a member of the First Aid Squad of Marlboro and Morganville New Jersey.
Upon arriving on Wyncrest Road, the site of memorial, I was stunned to see a sniper perched atop my local recreation center, dressed entirely in camouflage apparel and holding a gun, as if he had been taken right out of any war movie.
Standing on the grass before the ceremony, I chatted with other squad members, but I found myself looking past them and to the line of fire trucks, ambulances, and other emergency response vehicles that arrived on the scene, each with their sirens flashing and wearing stickers saying “September 11th Never Forget.”
Though I didn’t have one of my own, I noted each first responder wore a black strip of fabric over their badges. “The mourning bands signify that the squad members remember and mourn for those who perished on Sept. 11,” weekend shift coordinator Travis Lamerbson said.
As rain began to slowly fall, the families of the 14 Marlboro residents who lost their lives filed into the seating area while the Marlboro police force, the Township Fire Company, and the First Aid Squad fell into their respective formations behind the memorial.
Several first aid squad members standing next to me commented that the weather seemed befitting of the occasion, a remark I agreed with.
Marlboro Township Councilman Jeff Cantor, an Army Reserves lieutenant colonel himself, began the ceremony and alerted the audience that throughout the memorial service, Township fire trucks would be blaring air horns to signify each important event as it happened throughout the day.
Cantor was deployed from 2009 to 2010 and relayed his story of flying a beam, the twin to the one that was unveiled in Marlboro, over Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan in two Chinook helicopters.
“To me (including a beam in the memorial) was important, because not only was I able to (fly a beam) where the attacks were planned, but I was able to bring something like that home to my community, where so many great people live,” Cantor said.
The first air-horn rang out at precisely 8:46 a.m. as Assemblywoman Amy Handlin addressed the memorial. The noise lasted several seconds, and sent a chill straight through me as I saw the first impact replayed in my mind, and thought of those who had been in the plane, and what they must have thought about in their last few moments. The air-horn did not lose its chilling effect as it blared again at 9:03, 10:03, and 10:28. Each time I felt rattled to my core.
The memorial was finally unveiled by Mayor Jon Hornik and Cantor as the Marlboro High School Chorus sang a rendition of “God Bless America,” accompanied by the Marlboro High School Orchestra.
“We haven’t shared any birthdays or holidays,” said Suzan Cayne, whose son perished in the World Trade Center attacks, “We just don’t celebrate things anymore. Without our son, time just goes by. To see all of this, it’s an amazing tribute to my son, I’m really overwhelmed.”
As I stood at attention, saluting the American colors, children of each of the 14 Marlboro residents who were lost brought flowers and an American flag to rest at each of the 14 stars mounted on the memorial. Yet I was most moved when friends and family were brought up to speak about the victims, and two neighbors of New York firefighter Alan Feinberg spoke.
“I wasn’t there, so I can’t say Alan was first into the building, but I knew Alan, and I know that he would have run the furthest and the fastest to get into that building,” one neighbor said.
“I nearly lost my composure at the thought of a man who was safe, heading directly into one of the most unimaginable and the darkest abyss any of us could have imagined,” he said.
By KIERA BRENNAN
I was the first child called out of my first grade class on Sept. 11, 2001. My father worked in the city, a street or so away from the towers. My mother wrestled with her explanation of why I was going home so early. She could not answer the questions I had in ways I could understand. I just understood that my dad was okay and my brother was okay. I was okay, and that was what mattered.
Our generation is not okay. Our older siblings comprehended the news stories and the explanations that were fed to them, whether they wanted to or not. Our younger siblings were too young to even attempt a deeper understanding. Our peers, however, received muddled, half-understood answers from the television and adults, afraid to upset us.
I remember that day very clearly; I know my classmates do, too. We remember and through time, we have begun to understand.
Sept. 11, to our generation, means the end of the invincible America. Our generation has seen the end of boarding planes without hours of security or the total comfort that nothing will go wrong.
Our generation has never known America when it was not at war with an enemy that had a forever changing face.
Our generation saw and absorbed 2,977 lives lost in an instant; we were elementary school students, already desensitized to violence.
Our generation, at a time when we were still learning how to read and write, lost loved ones and lost that blind, innocent trust in the safety of the country we live in.
The upperclassmen, the oldest students in CHS, were only in first or second grade on Sept. 11, 2001. Too young to understand, too old to just be told, “You’ll be okay, I promise,” by our parents. As we grow older, and our memories begin to rely on the words of our television sets, we as a generation must look at the America we live in to see how Sept. 11 changed our world. Our understanding has grown past blissful ignorance towards a grim comprehension that has shaped our generation and the America it lives in.
By MONICA MARRONE
HOWELL – “If we all had it our way, we wouldn’t be here like this,” Howell Township Mayor Robert Walsh said to the crowd gathered in front of town hall on the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.
Howell held a ceremony to honor the five lives it lost on that day exactly 10 years ago. The ceremony took place at 2 p.m. with Howell Township Police, Fire Department, officials, and residents in attendance.
All were invited to sit under a tent in the front of town hall with the fire department and police standing at attention on the right. With many residents showing their respect, people gathered around the outside of the tent.
The ceremony began with the presentation of the colors by the Howell Township Police Honor Guard. The flag was raised to full mast during the singing of the national anthem, and later lowered to half mast after the song ended.
Pastor Chris McCarrick of Cornerstone Calvary Chapel in Howell then led the residents of Howell in prayer, asking the nation to, “somehow bring peace in the midst of this storm.”
A representative of the New Jersey state government, Major Karl Kleeberg, presented a proclamation by Governor Chris Christie to the Township of Howell. The proclamation declared Sept. 11 as Patriot Day, to reflect on the freedom and bravery of the United States.
From there, State Sen. Bob Singer (R-Lakewood) spoke about what the day was to him. He shared that his oldest daughter was only half of a block away from the World Trade Center. When he found out she was safe he thought that his family would never again be in danger of terrorism.
Four years later, Singer’s daughter was seated on a bus only a few seats from a suicide bomber. His daughter survived, but many others did not. Singer said that he realized he and his family were not safe from terrorism.
State Sen. Sean Kean (R-Wall) similarly reflected on where he was the morning of Sept. 11, some 50 miles from where the planes hit. Kean said that hearing about the events on television all sounded like white noise to him.
State Assemblyman David Rible (R) commented on the fact that he could hear the Howell Pop Warner Football game while the ceremony started, and reflected on how innocently children played with their families watching, but some parents would never have that same opportunity to watch their children play again after the attacks of 9/11.
“There are heroes suffering still, keep them in your prayers,” Rible said.
Behind the tent the Sept. 11 Memorial of Howell stood. The township manager explained that the five arches served to recognize the five residents of Howell who lost their lives. The Howell Police left an arrangement of red, white and blue flowers on top of the memorial.
The service ended with the singing of God Bless America, and a procession to the memorial, where the Honor Guard ended saluting next to the memorial as the bag pipes and drums ceased. The Fire Department followed by citizens joined the procession to the memorial to close the ceremony.
As former Mayor Joseph DiBella said, “One can only hope that in the future children have to ask, ‘What is a terrorist?’”
By FRANCESCA COCCHI AND SARAH GLEASON
OCEAN GROVE – Standing among rows of empty shoes in Auditorium Square Park, Sean Feeley looks down at his feet as the sun sets on a memorial dedicated to the lives of so many.
Trying to enjoy the last days of summer weather, the Feeley family spent their Saturday in Ocean Grove at the beach and eating ice cream. For many, however, this particular weekend in Ocean Grove is far from a joyous summer celebration.
Hosted by family Christian radio station Star 99.1 FM in a collaborative effort with the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, the 9/11 Empty Shoe Memorial commemorates the lives of the 2,977 men and women who died as a result of a terrorist attack on the nation.
“It’s pretty impactful,” said Feeley with his family behind him admiring the memorial. “They did a terrific job.”
Promotions Manager Jennifer Garibay-Weiss of Star 99.1 explained the display.
“Our radio station has been collecting shoes since July,” she said. “There are 2,978 pairs of shoes; 2,977 remember the people who died in 9/11, and the 2,978th shoe is for the people who have died because of 9/11 related causes.”
The ten year anniversary memorial, which opened Thurs. Sept. 8, and is available to the public until Tues. Sept. 13, has attracted a constant stream of people, said Garibay-Weiss.
Each pair of shoes is attached to an American flag. The display consists of various sizes and types of shoes – men’s, women’s, and children’s. The station received a total of 6,000 pairs of shoes, all of which will be donated to charity after the memorial, said Garibay-Weiss.
According to Garibay-Weiss, Star 99.1 reaches over 16 million people. The station has been encouraging shoe donations and promoting the event for months.
The Thompson family, of Jackson Township, heard about the memorial from Star 99.1 and drove almost a half-hour to visit it.
Gesturing to her son and daughter, Mrs. Thompson said, “We’re here mostly to keep our kids aware of what happened at the attacks.”
Her 14-year-old daughter recounted a vivid memory of watching the September 11, 2001 attacks on television. She had been four years old at the time, and her brother had not been born yet.
“This has to stay fresh,” said Mrs. Thompson. “We have to keep hope and be proud of our country, and we have to celebrate the lives.”
Another Star 99.1 listener, Caroline Morano from Spring Lake, also visited the memorial.
“I didn’t lose anybody, but it has deeply affected me,” she said, placing her camera down. “Just imagining the amount of people, babies on planes…”
Wiping tears from her eyes, Morano told the story of when she fell down a flight of stairs and broke her jaw. She said she does not remember the pain because she lost consciousness before hitting the ground.
“God took me before I had to suffer, and I know that’s what God did for these people. It’s the only thing that keeps me going,” she said.
Morano called the memorial wonderful and said that it should be done in other places.
“We just need to continue to forgive, to love, and to live,” she said.
According to Director of Facilities and Production of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association Christopher Flynn, the town was proud to host the event.
“For 142 years our mission has been to provide opportunities for spiritual birth, growth, and renewal in a Christian, seaside setting,” said Flynn. “This is the kind of thing that is very congruous to our mission.”
As a result, Flynn said the town has had an ongoing relationship with Star 99.1.
Originally the Empty Shoe Memorial was supposed to be located on Somerset Christian College and the campus of Zarephath Christian Church where Star 99.1 FM is located. However, when hurricane Irene destroyed the campus, Garibay Weiss said the station decided Ocean Grove “would be the perfect place.”
According to Flynn, the 9/11 memorial has caused a significant amount of pedestrian traffic. Police officers from London, England are supposedly making their way into Ocean Grove to aid in this weekend’s activities, including a morning worship service and a September 11Remembrance Service, held at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the Great Auditorium.
Ocean Grove resident and Communications High School student Mary Badger walked by the memorial on Wed. Sept. 7 when Star 99.1 was setting up the display.
“It’s a good way to visualize how many people were affected,” she said.
Although Ocean Grove has invited the station to do a similar event in the future, Garibay-Weiss is unsure of whether or not they will accept the offer for next year.
“It’s important to never forget, but it’s also important to move forward,” said Garibay-Weiss. “Big events like this have a tendency to become a day, rather than about the individual lives. We’re here to commemorate the people.”
By AISLINN BRENNAN
Sept. 11, 2001 was a tragic day, and as a nation we will always carry the pain and sadness with us, particularly the people who suffered personal losses. People grieve at their own paces and individual grievance really has no end point. However, as a whole, we have lost sight of who we are as a country. Now, we need to look back at the past ten years and see that, as a nation, it is time to move on from the anger that is dividing both our country and our world.
As we learned in Health 1, the Kübler-Ross Model, also known as the five stages of grief, splits the grief process into denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance. As a country, we went through the process together.
First there was denial. No one could believe what they were hearing. The towers are not really gone. It must be some sort of off-color joke.
Then the anger came. It started out as anger at the terrorists, but then grew into anger against the Islam culture as a whole.
And rather than moving on to acceptance, the anger stayed and morphed into hate. Our nation views Muslims in a negative light. We have developed a stigma against an entire culture.
When people get on a plane and see someone wearing a turban, they feel unsettled. When people pass women in hijabs, they judge. We do not make an attempt to understand their culture because in our minds it is an ugly thing that we associate with violence and pain.
In the most obvious example of this racial profiling, people objected to about building a Ground Zero Mosque. Muslims are racially profiled left and right, especially when it comes to any type of security. A pastor burned a Kuran. From unconscious stereotyping to extremist behavior, there is no denying our country’s negative view on Muslims, which has even grown violent
According to The Washington Post, two years ago in Texas, a 13-year-old boy broke the jaw of another 13-year-old boy, simply because the boy was Pakistani. This incident is one of many, and by no means the worst. Violent acts of hatred such as this one spring from the deep-seated anger that our country refuses to move on from.
When you think about it, Sept. 11 bears a remarkable resemblance to another day in history, Dec. 7, 1941. On that day that will “live in infamy,” the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, killing thousands of people. Immediately after, the nation rallied together and thrust itself into World War II.
The nation also developed a hate towards anything Japanese, to the point where Japanese-Americans were taken from their homes and put into camps. Imagine what the world would be like if that hate still ran rampant through our country today.
It would have formed an ingrained hate of one culture against another. It is the same hate that will form if we do not move on from our anger against the 9/11 terrorists. It is the same hate that those terrorists felt for us that led them to do what they did. Hate begets hate and soon, if hate is all that is left, all there will be is pain.
There is hope amidst the hate. Bettina Gray, chairwoman of the North American Interfaith Network, reported increased activity between different religions after the attack, according to the New York Times. Communities are arranging events such as potluck dinners with people from other religions in an attempt to understand rather than just blindly hate. As students from a school with laughable diversity, this is an example we could really learn from.
Again, 9/11 was a tragedy that will resonate with us forever, but as a country we need to move on from our anger. We need to look to the future, instead of dwelling on the past, and utilize the unity we have built from that day towards something positive rather than negative.