CEDAR GROVE, NJ - If you drive by Cedar Grove High School you'll see the progress of the Cedar Grove Waves 9/11 Memorial Art Installation.  For the fifth year in a row, the lawn of CGHS will be covered with 2,977 flags that honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks. 

Cedar Grove Waves organizer and Cedar Grove Board of Education Vice President David Schoner began laying out the grid for the project last week. Monday the CGHS students will begin placing the flags in what has become an annual tradition.  In conjunction with the art installation the students will learn more about the events of that tragic day for which most were not even born.      

“I think it’s an important way to remember those who died, especially for people who weren’t alive on that day.  We need to know what happened so it isn’t forgotten,” said senior Tracy Moreno.

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As has been the case since its inception, the Cedar Grove Waves project is ever evolving.  This year the ceremony on Sept. 11 will be completely student run.  

“All of the speakers will be students this year. We really want to drive home the component of teaching and educating young people about what happened that day,” Schoner said.  “My philosophy is that if students are talking about what happened and reading something about two Cedar Grove people that were killed, it’s more powerful coming from their peers.”

Senior Francesca Catrone will be the keynote speaker at the ceremony and other members of the senior class will read moments of time giving a timeline of the series of events that occurred that day.  

“As keynote speaker, I am really humbled to honor and give tribute to teh heroes and victims that lost their lives on 9/11,” Catrone said.  “Cedar Grove is truly fortunate to have someone as dedicated as Mr. Schoner, who is tireless in the efforts he puts into Cedar Grove Waves as a rememberance of this day.”

Over the past five years, Cedar Grove Waves has positively impacted CGHS students with many stating that seeing the 2,977 flags waving on their high school lawn really brings the events of the day home to them.  

“Seeing the flags on the front lawn really helps you grasp the large number of people that perished,” said senior Christopher Schoner.  “When you see numbers on paper or in a book -- it’s just a number and the magnitude of the loss of life is not felt.”

Cedar Grove Waves relies on the generosity of the community to continue on each year.  To contribute click here.  Funds raised are used to replace materials like the flags as needed each year.  In addition, Schoner hopes to plant a tree for each of the two Cedar Grove residents that lost their lives on 9/11 so any additional funds raised this year will go toward that project.