Read over the PA at 8:50AM Today…
Good Morning. You may have noticed the flag at half-mast today. Eighteen years ago, at 8:46AM, Life here at the Sound School was interrupted by a tragedy. I won’t go into details about how the news of the September 11 attacks rolled out and spread throughout campus—Those details are burned into my brain, but that’s a discussion for another day. What I will say is, through the shock and grief that we were all experiencing here, and as we heard about parents picking kids up from other schools en masse, It was significant that the vast majority of students here stayed in school. In many cases despite their parents’ wishes. They stayed and comforted each other, clung to each other, and helped each other through that dark and chaotic day.
The next day, Steve Pynn, who was our principal then, called everyone into the McNeil parking lot for a community meeting. Steve is a big man, and he said forcefully (paraphrasing): “We will not let the terrorists win. We will continue to teach, and learn, and to go through our daily life here, and that’s how we will make the world a better place.”
Don’t get me wrong. Steve was talking about winning, but real losses were suffered here on 9/11. There were relatives of students who were there. Until they weren’t. Locally, statewide and nationally, the loss of thousands of people left a hole in our collective consciousness that led to a long and arduous recovery…in some cases incomplete to this day.
It is for the loss of those people, and to honor their memories, that we will now observe a moment of silence.
But you know what? Steve was right! They didn’t win. School and life here went on, students learned and graduated….almost 1300 of them since then. Every day, our students show up, and strive to become their best selves. THAT’S how the world changes for the better….small communities, all across the globe, with people rising to become their best selves. Be diligent, be proud of who you are as we are proud of you; treat your fellow humans with empathy and respect, and you, and we, will never be defeated.