Dear Woodsdale Families,
The Unveiling: the Woodsdale Stained Glass for 9/11
Today, thanks to the Woodsdale Student Council and the Woodsdale PTO, we were proud to unveil the refurbished stained glass window that was created to honor those who lost their lives in the tragic attack on September 11, 2001.
Below are my remarks to the students, staff, and guests from this morning's unveiling:
"Where were you on 9/11?"
That is a question that adults sometimes ask each other. For the students in the room, we know the answer - you had not yet been born on September 11, 2001. For us, as grown-ups, the answer is a powerful one, and it brings back all the horrific memories of that tragic day - a day brought about by hatred and evil intentions. It is a day we might want to forget, but it is so important for us to remember, and to honor the memory of those who perished on that sad day.
Our reactions that day were a complicated jumble of shock, fear, anger, sadness, and grief. As we know, Abington's own Jeff Coombs was one of the lives sadly lost that day.
Christie Coombs and her family somehow were able to turn their grief into the amazing Jeff Coombs Memorial Foundation, and through that Foundation they have been able to help many others through acts of generosity and love.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told us many years ago, "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend."
Christie possesses an amazing combination of grace and resolve and determination that has enabled her to transcend the hatred of 9/11 and create a model of love and kindness. It is that kind of action, exemplified by Christie and by the Jeff Coombs Memorial Foundation that is powerful enough to change the world.
Christie, we are so grateful to you and the Foundation for inspiring all of us to do good for one another and to make the world a better place.
At this time, I'd like to share with you the special plaque that is going to put up on the wall underneath this stained glass panel. It says:
To Honor Those Who Perished on September 11, 2001
LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL
Designed by Woodsdale students in 2002
Refurbished by the Woodsdale 5th and 6th grade Student Council
Rededicated June 9, 2017
(In memory of Jeff Coombs, Abington Resident)
Thank you again to our Student Council for your initiative and to the Woodsdale PTO for their ongoing support and encouragement. We have been fortunate to have support from the whole PTO led by Mrs. Tirrell, Ms. Park, Mrs. Giller, and Mrs. DeMininco.
This tribute and plaque are a gift to the entire community, and represent our legacy for the Woodsdale School.
I also want to note today, this is the last time the entire 5th and 6th grade Woodsdale School will be gathered together in one place.
We are very excited about the move to the new Abington Middle School, but let's take a moment to reflect on your time at Woodsdale and to be sure, in the next week, to take notice of things around you - take a good look at all the familiar sights and sounds here at Woodsdale that you'll be leaving behind. Notice the WISE Woodsdale Owl, admire the beautiful murals created by Mrs. Naujalis. And especially, take some time to look at this stained glass panel and think about what it represents - the indomitable spirit of Woodsdale and Abington, and all that is good.
David Summergrad, Principal