Bright Futures Academy marked the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks Friday with an event that featured artifacts from the rescue and recovery effort, profiles of victims written by students, and emotional testimony from the father of a FDNY first responder lost in the tragedy.
Eighth graders from the Riverside Campus were transported to the Lighthouse Fellowship Hall, which was transformed into a miniature museum, featuring items from bus driver and PE assistant Mr. John Napolitano. Mr. John has been with Bright Futures Academy since 2008, and was a New York City police officer before that. His son, also named John, was a firefighter with FDNY, and was lost when the North Tower collapsed on 9/11.
Through Mr. John’s words, pictures, and artifacts, students experienced a personal side to an event many only know from their history classes. Lake Park Mayor James DuBois also spoke to the students, reminding them that there were all sorts of heroes in their community. Mr. O’Rourke’s students read profiles they had written of 9/11 victims and Ms. DeRosa read a letter written by Mr. John’s granddaughter.
Several firefighters from North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens were also in attendance, and afterward spoke to elementary students about heroes in their community.