Commack 9/11 Memorial Nears Completion

New installation at Commack High School to be unveiled after district's annual candlelight memorial service on Sept. 11.


The Commack school district and community's efforts to commemorate the fallen heros of Sept. 11 is nearly complete after months of hard work. 

Commack school officials announced at their Thursday board meeting that the 9/11 memorial is nearing completion at Commack High School. The memorial will be unveiled following the district's annual candlelight ceremony on Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. 

Debbie Virga, who has overseen the organization and building of the memorial, said the pieces have finally come together over the summer and only a few minor details of the 9/11 memorial remain unfinished. 

"The other night while I was checking on the lighting... I saw a woman with her 6-year-old daughter, explaining to her daughter why it was being built. In watching this mother and child, I knew the vision we had was complete," Virga said. 

A central focus of Commack's 9/11 memorial will be a piece of steel the district received from the fallen World Trade Towers. 

"The receiving of that piece of steel from the towers was not happenstance. We were recognized for all the hard work and effort we put in over the past decade of putting together that 9/11 service and bringing the community together," said Mary Joe Masciello, the Board of Education president. 

Commack School District is one of a few districts to actually receive a piece of World Trade Center steel, more often pieces have gone to township or counties for memorials, according to Masciello. 

"When they looked at a list of what Commack as a community does, they thought that's what qualified us," the board of education president said. "We were part of something that has lasted for 10 plus years." 

The finished memorial will have the names of Commack residents and district alumni who perished in the Sept. 11 attacks. 

Gappsi, a Smithtown-based custom landscaping, masonry and natural stone workers, volunteered the materials and labor to build the memorial. Paving stones with the names of Commack residents and non-profit organizations will make the pathway that leads around the memorial. 

"It's truly amazing, it's a work of art. It's something to behold and it belongs to Commack," Virga said. 

Commack 23 September 02, 2012 at 01:51 AM
GM September 02, 2012 at 02:48 AM
It is a shame to witness all this bad feeling over a memorial for 9/11. You're right Sal. The BOE is to blame for creating this climate of mistrust within the community. Unfortunately, many recent "conversations" on Patch are not admirable. Take a deep breath folks, exhale, and remember how for a few months after 9/11, we were all a little kinder. There's a time and place for everything.
Concerned Comamck Citizen September 02, 2012 at 03:37 PM
I just looked at the agenda for last weeks meeting and see nothing about contract agreements with Admin Staff or Teachers. Where did you get this info? You are correct that the bids were published in some arcane newspaper that no one reads: Newsday!!
susan r September 04, 2012 at 12:51 PM
How does she teach them about networking and planning events? She post what community service is available on the website and the kids send her and email and say they are interested and she sends their name to whoever needs community service done. The kids are required by the school to do community service to graduate - so how is she preparing them for life experience???
TS September 08, 2012 at 02:15 AM
I'm glad the comments finally got back to the reason for this article and this beautiful memorial. I'm glad our school district made this memorial and is recognizing those who were lost. It was devastating! And I'm sure none of the complainers bothered to buy a brick to be inscribed at the site of the memorial. By the way, the proceeds are going to the family's of those who were lost. I am a tax payer. I have children who are in Wood Park and Sawmill Intermediate, and although my children were not born when this tragedy happened, all of our names will be on a brick at the memorial vowing to never forget. My children have learned what happened and they will become a part of a tribute in their community, on the grounds of their future high school to never forget the loved ones of their friends and the many others who died needlessly. Compassion not complaining...


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