Cedar Grove students honor 9/11 victims with art installation

CEDAR GROVE, New Jersey (WABC) -- On Monday, the nation will pause to remember the thousands of people killed in the September 11th attacks.

High school students in Cedar Grove, New Jersey are honoring the victims with a special art installation.

16 years later, the devastating images of September 11th remain emblazoned on many of our minds, while the overwhelming loss of life still grips countless hearts.

However for younger generations born after the World Trade attacks, the magnitude of that horrific day can be difficult to grasp.

That is why Cedar Grove High School is taking this history lesson beyond the boundaries of the classroom right into their front lawn.

"We made a promise to those people that we wouldn't forget, and I want those students that are coming up that weren't born to let them know don't forget what happened," said David Schoner, Board of Education member.

"Being a former history teacher in my former life, I think that's what's so great about this," said Rick Mangili, Cedar Grove Principal.

Students are first immersed in a social studies course detailing the events of 9/11. Afterward, each student is given a flag to place outside as a part of a massive memorial.

Each flag honors one of the 2,977 souls lost but not forgotten. It's a vivid and somber display students say resonates beyond their history books.

"I was just thinking how I've never experienced that and how I wasn't really alive for it, so like how everyone views it differently," said Owen Posnett, a sophomore.

"We also learned how many people internationally throughout the world had lost their lives on this day and it's very important to learn about," Lauren Cap, a sophomore.

"To me having a tangible reminder of something an individual life that was lost kind of brings it back to how this can be applied to anyone's life, that's a person and not just a statistic," said Ava Silverman, a sophomore.

For the past three years, Cedar Grove Waves has drawn praise from people all over, and administrators say it's become a heartfelt tradition they hope to continue.

"We all want a place to go, we all want to reflect on what happened, and what Cedar Grove Waves has given them is that moment to reflect when they come up here," Mangili said.
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