Alumni honored in Ceremony

Jericho School District honored alumni Richard Fraser, Edward Marclovich, Glenn Minck, and Leo Roberts last Thursday in a tree dedicating ceremony. The four died during the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Over 50 people attended the event, including family members and friends, and featured speeches by Hilari Cohen, president of the Board of Education, Hank Grishman, superintendent of schools and a piano performance by eighth grader Wei-Ping Chen.

A magnolia tree was planted at the circle of the high school and memory books containing pictures and letters were handed to the families. A bronze plaque sits in front of the tree dedicating it to the four alumni.

“This tree is symbolic of our community,” Cohen said. “It stands as a representation of what we mean to one another.”

On that horrific day, teachers, “put kids in touch with their parents and dried tears of scared children who did not want to be left alone,” Cohen continued. Each bus leaving the Jericho school system had a chaperone on it with more volunteers than buses.

“The community has been very nice,” Charles Fraser, father of Richard (Class of ’86) said. “It’s a real tribute and the tree will last forever.”

Charles last spoke with his son calling from the 92nd floor of the south tower right after the north tower had been struck.

“Like anyone at the time, he wanted to get his employees off the floor,” Charles said.

Marclovich (’77) worked only eight floors below in the south tower.

“He wanted to make sure everyone was out,” father Ed Marclovich Sr. said. “They called him ‘Mr. Integrity’. He loved people and he took care of them.”

Minck (’79) did not work in the Twin Towers, but gave his life to help others. A former firefighter for Jericho, he was working at the time as an attorney at Holland and Knight, a block away from ground zero.

“He left his office building and went to help,” Jay Minck, brother of Glenn said. “Glenn sacrificed everything to go help. That’s the nature of a fireman and the nature of Glenn.”

The family of Leo Roberts (’75) was not present at the ceremony.

With all of the events that took place on 9/11, Cohen couldn’t help but praise the new sense of community.

“In good times and bad, we are a community,” Cohen said. “Whether we marvel together at the achievements of our students, or we collectively bow our heads in the memory of four alumni lost last September, our community comes together to share in each other’s strength, in each other’s sorrow.”

Cohen concluded her speech quoting Thorton Wilder. Wilder, a former Pulitzer Prize winner wrote the play Our Town, in 1938. The play deals with the unending human struggle to survive. In many ways, this reflected the spirit of 9/11.

“The planting of trees is the least self-centered thing of all that we do,” Cohen said.

This story was originally published in the Syosset-Jericho Tribune.

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