Remembering 9/11: WMC’s 20th Anniversary Ceremony and Various Events


Sebastian Gutkin

9/11 20th Anniversary Ceremony at West Morris Central

There was so much more than just P.R.I.D.E. in the pack at West Morris Central’s first home football game of the 2021 season. All the important virtues that the school stands by were put on display as WMC’s students, staff, and family members came together on Friday evening, September 10th,  to show their respect for the 20th Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks and for various other events. 


September 11, 2001, was a pivotal moment in American history as the United States of America responded to fear and hatred with an abundance of love and hope. The West Morris Central community honored the 2,996 lives that perished during the terrorist attacks and all of those affected by it during the first home football game one day prior to the 20th Anniversary. 



The American Flag waving through the air at the football game on September 10th, 2021. (Sebastian Gutkin)

To begin the ceremony, the Long Valley Fire Company hoisted an American flag on their fire trucks over the bleachers. 


The Long Valley Veterans Association saluting while bagpipe player plays during the Star-Spangled Banner. (Sebastian Gutkin)

Shortly after, the Long Valley Veterans Association made their way through the Wolfpack Tunnel and onto the field accompanied by music played by a bagpipe player. 


With everyone gathered together in the stands and on the fields, there was then a moment of silence to honor those who had perished during 9/11. As the moment concluded, the ceremony carried on with the Star-Spangled Banner. 



WMC’s Student Section dressed in Red, White, and Blue. (Sebastian Gutkin)


Students showed not only their school spirit but their respect for all those affected by the events of 9/11 by dressing in the colors of the nation: red, white, and blue. 

Leading up to the day of the ceremony, students and faculty spent portions of the week learning more about 9/11. The impact of 9/11 was so catastrophic around the nation that those who were alive during that time can recall what they were doing that day. Three teachers at WMC, Dr.Prokop, Mr. Togno, and Miss LaBell, went on the morning announcements over the course of three separate days to share their stories on what they had experienced 20 years ago. Miss LaBell shared her own memory of that day and its impact: “Through the darkness and sadness, one thing that our country gained was pride, unity, and honor, for those that were lost, for our first responders, for the random people on the streets trying to save and find anyone they possibly can.  This didn’t last for the day it lasted for years.  I remember seeing the American flag everywhere and people being so proud to be an American”.  


The football game was also a very memorable evening as it consisted of various other events prior to the 20th Anniversary ceremony of 9/11.


Due to the ongoing problems of the pandemic, the student section was unable to attend during the 2020-2021 season. September 10, 2021, marked the first home game since the Coronavirus outbreak that allowed the student section. Students were energized and enthusiastic to be back to support their football team and honor the fallen. 


Mrs. Woodring, WMRBOE Vice President, cutting the ribbon alongside fellow WMC administration and cheerleaders to celebrate the remodeled bleachers. (Sebastian Gutkin)

Another important event that occurred before the football game began was the remodeling of the new bleachers. During the pandemic, as students weren’t able to attend the sporting event, the school reconstructed the bleachers. To celebrate the new bleachers, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held. 


Before the game had started, the school welcomed the Long Valley Raiders football players and cheerleaders for the annual Raider’s Night. From first-year participants to those preparing for high school, the field was filled with joy as the Raiders ran through the Wolfpack Tunnel. 


As things start to return to “normal”, the first football home game was a nice reminder to the West Morris Central community of what we have conquered recently and in the past.