On Sept. 11, Mineola High School learners, teachers and staff joined together in a spirit of community, solidarity and generosity to commemorating the National Day of Service and Remembrance in honor the lives lost and the heroes who selflessly risked their own lives to help others.
Led by the Student Service Center, the team stayed after school and packed over 700 snack bags that were donated to the Mary Brennan INN, a not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization that provides essential services to assist those challenged by hunger, homelessness and poverty on Long Island.
Immediately following the service activity, the group gathered for a ceremony where they were reminded of the importance of honoring the victims with service and living by the motto “We Honor, We Help, We Heal.” The tribute included a poetry reading and the story of the Survivor Tree, a pear tree that was discovered buried in the rubble at Ground Zero and was rehabilitated and returned to the Memorial in 2010 as a living reminder of resilience and survival.
The commemoration included the watering of Mineola’s own “Survivor Tree,” which was planted at the high school on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in 2011. Each year on the anniversary students take turning watering the tree to contrast the fire that caused immense destruction and to symbolize water as a primary element of rebirth and renewal.