Passaic Arts & Science Charter School

September 11 Tribute

On March 8th, iLearn Schools Security Director,  Sheriff (retired) Leo McGuire finished a tribute to all three Sept. 11th attack sites.
Some months ago, Sheriff and Lt. William Zika, Port Authority Police (retired) began their trlogy of remembrance and respect with flags flown over the Pentagon. In a snowstorm in February, they raised the flags at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania.
Donning their uniforms proudly, McGuire said, ” we quickly forgot the cold whipping past us and the chill of our hands as we remembered the bravery and selfless sacrifice of those 40 souls who prevented further tragedy.” Lt. Zika remarked that,  ” the long trip out to western Pennsylvania was inspirational and a fitting tribute. Raising the flag on the site was a memorable experience especially since it had already flown over the Pentagon.”
Zika arranged access to the National September 11th Memorial & Museum recently. In contrast to the snowstorm in PA, the day was picture perfect, with a similar gorgeous blue sky as that of the morning of 9/11. “While Bill and I didn’t mention it specifically, the beauty of the day was unmistakably similar to that fateful day in 2001 where 2917 innocent lives were lost.”, McGuire said.
Escorted by two Port Authority police officers, McGuire and Zika took to their solemn duty to reflect, remember, and respect the memory of each of the lives lost at the Pentagon, Flight 93, and the World Trade Center on 9/11. With military precision they took to the task of raising and lowering their flags. With each pull of the rope, the flag rose a few feet, until it reached the apex and flew proudly, triumphantly, overseeing the entire WTC site; flapping in the brisk wind, and remembering the 343 FDNY, 27 NYPD and 37 members of PAPD. Lieutenant zika spent months working at the site after the attacks and remembered the 37 friends he lost on that day. Sheriff McGuire has offered his flag to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Museum currently in construction in Washington DC, stating, “these flags mean a lot to me, and to have completed this journey with my good friend Bill, makes it even more special. But we didn’t raise these flags at all three sites for us, we wanted to create a lasting memory for those generations still to come. These flags represent freedom, the resiliency of the American people, and respect the 2996 lives sacrificed on 9/11. I hope all the students at iLearn schools continue to reflect on these important moments in history and result sure that hatred has no place in our society.”


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