(September 11, 2020 – Jersey City) To commemorate the anniversary of 9/11, the Explore Middle School faculty and student body virtually came together to remember those who were lost and honor the brave men and women who risked their lives that day.
To open the ceremony, Aidan Chapas, 8th grade student council representative, led the school in the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a moment of silence in honor of those who lost their lives.
Chapas then shared, “This morning, we commemorate the events that happened nineteen years ago, on September 11, 2001. On this date in 2001, the United States of America was attacked in an unprecedented fashion, leading to the deaths of almost 3000 men and women in New York City, Arlington, Virginia and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. At this time, we all pause for a moment of silence and remembrance of those lost on this day in 2001.”
Following the moment of silence, Captain Chris Fodera of the Jersey City Fire Department, shared his memories and experiences of that tragic day.
Chris Fodera became a firefighter in 1999 at age 24; two years later 9/11 occurred. Although he was not on duty that day, he was recalled back to work to assist the New York City Fire Department.
Captain Fodera explained vividly remembering smoke billowing from the fallen towers on his way back to the firehouse and having an incredible adrenaline rush. He wanted to get to work and help in any way he could. He went on to describe the white soot that covered everyone and everything at Ground Zero and the heart-breaking interactions with family members unsuccessfully searching for their loved ones.
Although many of his memories from September 11th and the days that followed are tragic, Captain Fodera took solace and pride in the patriotism and unity he witnessed in the aftermath of the attack.
Ms. Jamie Velazquez, supervisor and Social Studies instructor, was both thankful and proud to have her friend, Captain Fodera, share his story.
In order to provide the students with an opportunity to reflect on Captain Fedora’a story and message, the social studies departments have planned breakout sessions for students to meet and discuss in small groups.
On behalf of all the Explore community members, Principal Krone would like to thank the JCFD for all they continue to do to keep us safe and Captain Fodera for taking the time to educate our young students about the tragic events of 9/11.