Since being dedicated as the first 9/11 memorial of its kind in the nation nine years ago, has held annual tributes in honor of five of its graduates that tragically had their lives taken during the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
This year’s Seaford High School candlelight memorial ceremony scheduled for this Sunday evening at 7 p.m. will take on a particular special meaning since it falls on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that took nearly 3,000 innocent lives. In honor of the 10th anniversary of that fateful day and the determination demonstrated by the local community to keep the memory and spirit of the five Seaford High School graduates alive, 250 American flags measuring around six feet tall have been placed around the memorial plaza in anticipation for Sunday’s service.
“In recognition of the 10 anniversary we wanted to bring the memorial service up to a new level,” said Seaford 9/11 Memorial Committee Chairman Tom Condon, who is also athletic director for the Seaford School District. “We’re proud to have assembled these flags around the memorial.”
Condon credited the and the Seaford Wellness Council for offering their support in organizing efforts to place the flags around the memorial site. The flags are a symbol of 10 years of patriotism displayed in the community to keep the memory of the five Seaford High School alums lost on that fateful day a decade ago including Thomas T. Haskell'82, Timothy S. Haskell'85, John William Perry'82, Robert Francis Sliwak'77 and Michael Robert Wittenstein'85. Brothers Thomas and Timothy Haskell were New York City firefighters, Perry was an officer with the New York City Police Department and Sliwak and Wittenstein both worked at financial services firm Cantor-Fitzgerald near the top of the World Trade Center's North Tower.
The Seaford High School 9/11 Committee has also honored the memories of the Haskells, Perry, Sliwak and Wittenstein through .
As Condon helps setting up logistics for the 10th annual Seaford 9/11 Memorial service, he has reflected back on how remarkably the community banded together in the months following the terrorist attacks to set up the tribute. Parents of the five Seaford graduates met with the Seaford 9/11 Memorial Committee in January 2002 and thanks in large part to a successful fundraiser held at in Wantagh on March 11 of that year, a ribbon cutting occurred for the memorial 14 months after that fateful day.
“It was amazing to see the great spirit and commitment displayed by this community to build that memorial ,” said Condon. “Ten years ago I never could have envisioned what this would be.”
Among those scheduled to speak at Sunday evening’s memorial service are Rep. Peter King, R-Seaford, Seaford High School Principal Emeritus Raymond J. Buckley, Seaford Superintendent Brian Conboy and former Seaford teacher Steve Bongiovi, who will host most of the program. There will also be musical performances by the Seaford High School marching band and chorus as well as the Nassau County Police Pipe Band.
For further information on the Seaford High School Sept. 11 Candle Lighting Memorial, call 516-592-4320 or e-mail Tom_Condon@mail.seaford.k12.ny.us.