Dear Putnam Valley Community:
Reflecting on the return to school this week, I’m feeling tremendous pride and gratitude for our PV students and staff, and at the same time, I’m finding it difficult to comprehend that this Saturday, September 11, 2021, will mark the 20th anniversary of that tragic day. A day when everyone who is old enough to remember, can identify exactly where they stood as the events of that day unfolded. Personally, I was standing alongside a colleague at Putnam Valley High School; the feelings and emotions from that day are still so raw that they are difficult for me to discuss. It also warrants mention that not a single student, currently attending Putnam Valley Schools, was alive on September 11, 2001.
Despite all of the trauma that still surrounds the anniversary of September 11 each year, I want to take this opportunity to recognize the true heroes of that day. The courageous first responders who rushed toward danger to protect those they swore to serve, but never returned home to their own families. Those who spent weeks or months searching through the fallen rubble, without regard for their own personal health; only to find out years later the cost of that service.
While, in my lifetime, the country has never seemed as divided as it is today, I’ll always remember how we came together following the attacks of September 11 to support each other and our country through those most challenging times. I’m hopeful that our country will once again be able to reunite, this time without a national tragedy serving as the backdrop.
Many in our school community know someone who was lost that day or taken by the disease that consumed them following their service at the World Trade Center site. Twenty years feels like a lifetime ago for many of us and was in fact a lifetime ago for our students. This anniversary marks an important reminder for all of us to remember the heroes and victims of that fateful day.
Tomorrow, Putnam Valley will hold their annual 9/11 remembrance at Town Park beginning at 6 pm and Putnam County will hold a candlelight vigil in Carmel beginning at 7 pm (details).
Take care of each other and enjoy the weekend.
Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools