South Hadley High School Student Artwork

Friday, September 16, 2011

South Hadley High School Pays Tribute To Our Fire and Police for Their Service

The high school invited the police and fire departments of South Hadley to the library today to thank them for their service. The high school chorus sang the national anthem, and Mr. McCarthy discussed with the forces the work the students at South Hadley High School have been doing to give back to their community. The high school presented each force with a commemorative September 11th flag, and displayed a banner created and signed by high school students recognizing the sacrifices that our services make to the community. The banner will be displayed during parent night at the high school and then at Town Hall.

Below is the text of the speech Ms. Eckert made at the ceremony:

September 16, 2011

Chief Authier, Chief Keefe, and Chief Labrie, 

We all know that many people died on 9/11, in New York, in Shanksville, and at the Pentagon, victims of the barbarous acts of 19 hijackers, misguided in their beliefs, but hitting 3 of their 4 targets. 

We know the names of those people who died. 

But thousands and thousands more were saved that day. People were carried down stairwells, shielded from falling debris, and evacuated to safety by trained and dedicated firefighters and police officers, and were given first aid by emergency medical technicians. 

We do NOT know the names of all of those people who were SAVED that day. 9/11 was a wake up call to improve our intelligence and security systems, but it also woke us up to the heroism in the line of duty of the first responders who did not hesitate to do what they are trained to do on that awful day. 

343 firefighters died that day. 
60 police officers died that day. 
15 EMTs died that day. 
And more than 2,000 first responders were injured that day. 
All in the line of their duty. 

9/11 reminds us to care for each other and value our communities, and to take notice of the first responders in our midst. 

You are trained to fight fires, rush us to hospitals, and keep us safe from crime. In short, you rescue us when we are in crisis, 
Always on standby, 
Always alert, 
Always ready 

And for this, 
You have our respect
You have our admiration, and
You have our gratitude. 

From our school, we give you these flags of honor, bearing the names of those killed on 9/11. 

And we have wonderful students to present a gift to you bearing the names of many of those you protect from harm on this day and every day. 

Thank you.