School’s moving tribute to 9/11

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File photo
File photo

Several events around Queens will mark the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

Although the fourth and fifth graders of P.S. 16 have no memory of the attacks on September 11, 2001, members of the grades united to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice a decade ago.

The students hosted a memorial performance on September 19 in honor of everyone who risked and lost their lives at the World Trade Center.

The children gave speeches, read quotes, recited poems and sang seven songs during the show. The subject of each song was related to either the attacks on 9/11 or the United States of America.

“Each of the seven songs had a meaningful relationship to the events of September 11,” said Irene Laakkonen, the music teacher at P.S. 16, located at 41-15 104th Street in Corona. “One song honored the victims and their families, while another was dedicated to first responders. The children also sang songs discussing the country’s healing process, as well as a few that were patriotic and expressed love for America.”

Several officers of the NYPD and FDNY attended the performance as distinguished guests of the school.

“I wanted the children to learn to honor those who gave their lives for our country and to respect the values and beliefs we hold dear,” said Laakkonen. “I think they also need to learn to appreciate those men and women who put their lives on the line every day to secure our safety. These are the heroes they should be inspired by.”

At the tribute’s conclusion, the audience rose to their feet and aided the children in singing “America the Beautiful.”