On Sunday, Nov. 18, the Farmingdale community came together for the purpose of honoring its own heroes and tightening neighborly bonds. Named Farmingdale Respects, the event took place from 4 to 6 p.m. on the Farmingdale High School football field.
In a world that oftentimes emphasizes our differences over our similarities, Farmingdale Respects served as a showcase for all that Dalers hold dear. It was a time to reflect on generations of families that have called Farmingdale their home. It was a time to tip our hats to our brothers and sisters who put their lives on the line for us day in and day out.
The five fire departments that serve our community - Farmingdale, South Farmingdale, East Farmingdale, North Massapequa, and North Amityville - do all of us proud. What better way to honor our uniformed service people than to tell them how thankful we are for their bravery while they are here with us to celebrate the occasion. With words of praise and flickering candles to light our way, we said "thank you for keeping us safe."
We took time, too, to cherish the young and elderly among us. Although they are sometimes loathe to admit the fact, the children in our community look to us for guidance and comfort. I've spoken with students who found that the current situation in our country has opened the doors of communication with a grandparent who served in a past conflict. In fact, Newsday featured letters from students on its Student Briefing Page. They detailed the reassurance children felt when grandparents described the challenges of a country at war and the strength they found to push forward and enjoy their lives.
There has been many a call by the media and political leaders to go out and spend as a way to demonstrate patriotism. As holiday activity revs up, nothing is more important than guiding our young ones to that which will satisfy their souls. Pop CDs and clothes a-plenty are not the ticket.
Treasuring family and friends and truly being thankful for the gifts we have is a message that will resonate with our young people. With Farmingdale Respects, our school community and our community at large showed that Farmingdale is a place where togetherness is a good thing.
At this time of the year the members of Farmingdale Federation of Teachers remember in our hearts the Farmingdale people who have been so tragically affected by the events of Sept. 11. We are thankful for the sensitive and supportive community in which we are privileged to work and we wish all of you a memorable and happy holiday season with the prospect of a much better new year.