WEST ORANGE, NJ - Pleasantdale School held an inspiring and hope-filled assembly to honor 9/11 and celebrate Patriot Day, featuring students, music and an emotional reading by Principal Joanne Pollara.
Led by music teacher Deb Matz-Rees the assembly started with the Pledge of Allegiance and the fifth grade chorus singing "My Country Tis of Thee".
Fifth grade students explained what happened on 9/11 and the meaning of terrorism, followed by a moment of silence. They then shared that 9/11 is now Patriot Day and how students could volunteer to help serve their community. They expressed the hopes, dreams, and promises of our country with famous quotes from United States presidents and students singing "America the Beautiful."
Pleasantdale Principal Dr. Joanne Pollara ended the assembly by speaking about that day. She said, “9/11 showed the worst in people but in the midst of the chaos we saw the best of what it means to be an American. For a while we were a kinder and gentler nation. We found a new normal. We found a new hope. In honor of those who were lost and in celebration of the heroes of that day, let’s all make an effort to perform an act of kindness for another person today. Let’s remember how lucky we are to be in America. Let’s stand up for each other every day. Remember your own compassion and kindness can prevent future acts of intolerance and violence. This is your future. You can make a difference.”
Dr. Pollara closed the assembly by reading a book written by first grade students the day after the September 11 attacks called "September 12". This story revealed that everything would be alright because on September 12 the sun came out, the children went to school, they saw lots of flags, went to recess, had homework, and their parents told them they loved them. At night the moon and the stars came out and America went to sleep. It is NOT the end. The children here at Pleasantdale School are our future.