November 14, 2003

On Friday, November 14, 2003, the community came together for the dedication at South Ocean Middle School of a memorial to victims of the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. South Ocean Avenue Principal Manny Sanzone explained that part of the driving force to create the memorial was that South Ocean had been home to Al Maler, to Eric Stahlman and to the children of Michael Healy. It is a fitting place for "The Circle of Reflection," created in their memory.

Two years of fundraising and hard work by the students of South Ocean Avenue Middle School, helped by many community volunteers, contributed to the erection of the memorial and to the thoughtful and moving ceremony at which it was unveiled. The memorial, says Mr. Sanzone, is a work-in-progress. There are plans for future landscaping and lighting and for engravings. The memorial will fly five flags: the American flag, the New York State flag, The Suffolk County Flag, The Brookhaven Town Flag and the Patchogue Village flag.

The memorial, as Mr. Sanzone explained, is a product of "The whole community for the community." It remembers those from this community whose lives were lost September 11th and it embraces, as well, those from the larger community who were taken on that day.