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Ossining Students Reflect Upon 9/11

OSSINING, N.Y. – Nicole Sniffen was not yet born when 9/11 happened, but the day is still important to her.

"It's a day when a lot of people got hurt and a lot of people survived," said Sniffen, 9. "It's a really sad thing to think about and also a happy thing to think about because a lot of people survived."

Sniffen and her classmates walked silently in single file out to a playground behind Roosevelt elementary school on Friday morning to see a dogwood tree that was to be planted in memory of 9/11.

The tree, called the Remembrance Tree, was planted next to several Reflection Benches made from sections of fallen tree trunks donated by a local tree company, Tony Evergreen Tree.

"I think the tree is a really good idea because every time we go outside we can remember that day that was very terrible," said Claudia Bueno, 10. "We all have to take care of New York because it's a very important place."

Principal Corey Reynolds said 9/11 has been introduced to students as the action of a few people who "misinterpreted beliefs to make the world a better place."

"We lost some very dear friends. I lost five friends on that day," Reynolds told students.

Reynolds said he thought his school's fifth graders understood the importance of 9/11.

"We asked them to come out silently to keep the solemness of the ceremony, and to have 308 ten year olds do that is not easy," the principal said. "I'm very proud of the students and staff. I think that they understood that it's a serious occasion."

The planting of a Remembrance Tree next to Reflection Benches was done on Friday in all of the schools in the Ossining school district.

"The Ossining School District along with the entire nation (pays) tribute to the fallen heroes, courageous individuals and groups, and commitment to democracy re-inspired by the events surrounding Sept. 11, 2001," school officials said in a press release.

According to The Journal News' website, two men from Ossining, Gary Haag and Arthur James III, and two men from Briarcliff, Ariel Jacobs and Krishna Moorthy, died in the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

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