The student news site of Patchogue-Medford High School

The Red & Black

The student news site of Patchogue-Medford High School

The Red & Black

The student news site of Patchogue-Medford High School

The Red & Black

Remembering 9/11

Photo by Sophia Emr
Students are show researching and taking notes on the information shared about 9/11 to commemorate the 22nd anniversary.

Marking the 22nd year of the tragic events occurring on September 11, 2001, Patchogue-Medford High School remembers the day our nation united in times of struggle. While all of the students in our building were not alive to witness the events, many have families and friends who been affected by the events on 9/11. Additionally, many of Pat-Med’s teachers and staff were there to witness first-hand the events.

Today, Journalism students toured around the high school, asking faculty for their thoughts and memories of 9/11. Meeting with teachers and staff throughout the library, guidance office, main office, and cafeteria, here is what they had to say when remembering what happened 9/11.

Mrs. Sclafani, one of our PMHS librarians, recalls the day as it was her first year working at Pat-Med. “I was on bus duty at Canaan Elementary. As the buses were coming in the drivers were informing me that planes had crashed into the twin tower,” she says. “Since it was before there was any social media and new technology, we rolled out a TV on a cart and had the news playing. As the day went on many students were getting taken out of school out of fear. Today in the library we have a gallery walk taking you through the events of 9/11. We are also live streaming the 9/11 memorial.”

Mrs. C. added, “I was at Saxton in the library. A teacher I was working with was very scared because her brother was supposed to be there. It was chaos, a lot of kids were pulled out of school and there were no classes that day.

“Things that I’ve always found interesting about 9/11 is the brave fire fighters and police officers running into the burning buildings with no hesitation. They went into the building knowing they might not return. I always thought it was very sad hearing about how people would jump from the very high floors because they didn’t think they could be rescued.”

Secretaries of the PMHS Guidance Office were interviewed about their experiences during the tragedies of 9/11:  

Ms. Benvill said, “I was working in the Hamptons at a bar and there was a woman who was in the towers there, and that was extremely sad. It was overall an unbelievable and unthinkable day.” 

Mrs. Lorensten added,  “I was in band class in Middle School, I remember being confused because all the students were getting picked up. It was a confusing and quiet day while we watched the news on the television.”    

Ms. Martenez shared, “I had woken up the morning of 9/11 and I remember it being a gorgeous day outside. The weather was not too hot and not too cold. I was in my sophomore year at Pat Med, and I didn’t fully speak English yet. Many people were saying there was an accident that had happened but when the second plane hit that’s when we realized we were under attack. There was a television at the school library, and we were watching the attacks. Some of my classmates had fathers/family members that were in the buildings and lost that day as well.” 

Mrs. Marino was in the College Nassau parking lot when 9/11 occurred. All the buildings around her were locked, and she turned on the radio to hear what was going on. On the radio, she heard what was happening. Her brother couldn’t celebrate his birthday due to the attack. 

Ms. Ltaffon was working at Wading River when the attacks happened. Everything was quiet while she was walking into work. Some she knew were personally affected, especially one of her coworkers whose son was working in the buildings at the time of the attack.  

One of Mr. Reach’s students, Matt Heavly,  says that his dad was a fireman who passed away from the disaster. 

Mrs. Champion was in a fire drill when the attacks happened. Another teacher told her what had happened, and she ran into the faculty room. She travelled to Medford to inform the other teachers. 

A bathroom aide at the high school said she was shopping in Patchogue for her daughter’s wedding during the time of the attacks. Her same daughter was supposed to be in the buildings that day but luckily wasn’t, so she believes she was blessed that day  

A main office secretary put her kindergartener child on the bus that day, and later after neighbors ran out of the houses telling everyone that the plane hit the first tower. No one believed it, but when they checked for themselves, they saw the other plane hit the second tower. There was much panic in schools, especially because they had children in school, and they weren’t sure what was coming next. 


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