Students and staff at Clear Stream Avenue School gathered around the flag pole in the front of the school building on Sept. 12 to commemorate Patriot Day, a day of remembrance for the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. This year, six firefighters dressed in uniform from Clear Stream Avenue Firehouse Engine 4 joined in the ceremony, which the school has made a proud tradition for the past 16 years, starting with former Principal Bob Cohen.
Lt. Daniel Pastor, former captain Andrew Mihalick and firefighters Fernando Campoverde, Frank Feliciano, Tom McAleer and Richard Sullivan pulled up to the school on their fire engine as students watched. Former captain Mihalick addressed the students and spoke about the historical significance of Patriot Day and the sacrifice that so many endured.
“On that day, no one could have ever believed that the worst of humanity would bring out the best of humanity,” he said.
Principal John Singleton echoed his sentiments as he focused in on the word “indivisible,” found in the Pledge of Allegiance, during his remarks.
“The word indivisible means you cannot divide us,” he said. “On 9/11, Americans from all different backgrounds and religions came together united as one. Now, more than ever, we as a community need to be united as Americans and honor the memories of those who were lost on that day.”
With the guidance of music teacher Stephanie Cooke, members of the sixth grade chorus performed “God Bless America” during the ceremony which followed by Mr. Singleton leading the entire school in the Pledge of Allegiance. Students proudly faced the flag with their hands over their hearts, reflecting on the ceremony. As they returned to their classrooms, teachers commented that it was the best commemoration ceremony to date. They were touched by the words of Captain Mihalick and the students were happy to see the firefighters in attendance.