A 9/11 Tribute

Hannah Foley, Opinions Editor

Brendan Burris '13 and Mike Zito work on the GMS 9/11 tribute. | Photo by Hannah Foley '14

September 11th – a day of mourning, remembrance, and reflection. Every year, people around the world gather to commemorate that dreadful day, and the Staples community is no different.


While the tenth anniversary of 9/11 occurred on a Sunday, a formal, school wide acknowledgement is scheduled to take place next week.


“Good Morning Staples,” the biweekly news show that airs during Communication Time, plans to air a 9/11 tribute on both its Tuesday and Thursday shows.


Members of the two TV Production classes, which are in charge of producing the morning show, have been working since the beginning of the school year to put together memorial pieces for the show.


Michael Zito, one of the TV Production teachers, believes that a commemorative piece on the morning show is the right way to pay homage to all of those who were affected by the terrorist attacks. Zito met with Staples Principal, John Dodig, and other administrators to brainstorm ideas about how to recognize the tenth anniversary.


Originally, Dodig suggested that a series of YouTube videos be played for the entire school, but Zito felt that something more personal should be done. Zito said, “Rather than play videos from someplace else, we thought it was more important to get a Staples perspective from students, teachers, or both.”


Jim Honeycutt, the other TV Production teacher, completely agrees with Zito. Honeycutt believes that the best way to acknowledge 9/11 would be through a student’s viewpoint.


“The untold story of 9/11 at Staples, is that no student at Staples lost a parent,” said Honeycutt. He remembered having a student whose mother and father both worked in the World Trade Center, but neither of them was there when the attacks occurred.


Honeycutt sadly recounted the story of two Staples Alumni that were both killed on 9/11. Keith and Scott Coleman had grown up in Westport and worked at the Cantor Fitzgerald offices in the World Trade Center. Honeycutt had Keith in class when he was at Staples and said, “I always joke with my kids, I remember the students I like and I forget the ones I didn’t, and I remember Keith. He was a good kid.”


Honeycutt believes it is extremely “important that the school remembers the Coleman brothers.” He said that now on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, it is especially important that people remember the Staples Alumni that were lost.


Brendan Burris ’13, one of the TV Production students putting together the tribute, is determined to create a meaningful commemoration.


For his piece, Burris and his group are collecting students’ and teachers’ reflections on the attacks. He said that one of the most interesting people to interview was Sophomore Vice Principal, Richard Franzis, as he spoke about his reactions and feelings from a soldier’s perspective, although the details are being saved for Tuesday’s show.


Noting that most students “were either in first or second grade,” Burris acknowledged the fact that “we are the last generation to have a remembrance of what happened.”


He said he hoped to capture and document what students can recall. He said, “It was a terrible event and people will remember where they were when it happened for the rest of their lives, and they will realize the progress we have made in the past 10 years.”


Burris, Honeycutt, and Zito are all anticipating a powerful tribute. “I see the morning show as a show by the students, and I think I’ll find it interesting to watch a piece from a student’s perspective,” Zito Said.