SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Patriot Day – observed annually on Sept. 11 in memory of those who lost their lives in the tragic terrorist attacks against the United Stated back in 2001 – was observed this week at South Plainfield’s John F. Kennedy Elementary School. 

During a ceremony held Tuesday morning, the entire student body along with teachers and staff, gathered in the school gym to honor and remember those who died 17 years ago. 

“This day in history is so important,” Kennedy Principal Kevin Hajduk told TAPinto South Plainfield. “The exposure to the tragic events of 9/11 at an early age will help our country to never forget the victims and heroes of this historic day.”

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Organized by Hajduk with assistance from former parent Keith Both, a current member of the South Plainfield Board of Education and retired U.S. Navy Commander, Kennedy’s Patriot Day ceremony focused not only on the victims, but also on the heroes. 

“As a Kennedy School student and a person that lives in the United States of America – best country in the world – you should always show others that you are friendly and willing to help them, just like the heroes of September 11, 2001,” said Hajduk, who back in 2011 was a teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School.

During the program, Both, who also currently serves as a leader of South Plainfield Cub Scout Pack #324, discussed the components of Morse Code. The students learned how to transmit text into numbers and how by adding up the values of letters, you can find out the worth of certain words. Both also spoke about the importance of volunteerism and reminded the students to appreciate the activities they participate in, which are made possible thanks to the organization’s parent volunteers. 

Kennedy’s Patriot Day ceremony also featured a wreath presentation by Kennedy fourth graders Skyler LaGuerreand Shane Magalongand concluded with a moving performance of God Bless the U.S.A.led by music teacher Barbara Habeeb. Additionally, Kennedy Scouts lowered and removed the school’s old flag and replaced it with a new one that was flown at half-staff in remembrance of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. 

About Patriot Day 

In the United States, Patriot Day is a National Day of Service and Remembrance observed annually on September 11 in memory of the men and woman who lost their lives in the 2001 terrorist attacks. On that day, two hijacked airplanes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City and a third crashed into the Pentagon. A fourth aircraft, possibly headed for the White House, also went down in Pennsylvania field when passengers overtook the hijackers to prevent the attack. A total of 2,996 men and woman lost their lives that tragic day, including many who perished trying to save others.

In December 2001, President George W. Bush signed into law a discretionary day of remembrance marking Sept. 11 as Patriot Day. The American flag should be flown at half-staff at home and at all U.S. government buildings and moments of silence occur throughout the day, beginning at 8:46 a.m. EST - the time of the first plane crashed in the World Trade Center’s North Tower.

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