On today’s anniversary of 9/11, students from Jewish Community High School of the Bay visited San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and her staff for a ceremony honoring first responders for their efforts on that tragic day 16 years ago.
The gathering was all the more poignant because some of the students hadn’t been born yet in September 2001.
“It doesn’t matter,” the students said in a prepared speech. “As Americans, 9/11 is as much of our history as the Holocaust is to us as Jews.”
The students presented Hayes-White with a framed photo of the Jewish National Fund’s 9/11 Living Memorial in Israel, the only monument outside the United States that lists all the names of the victims. It was erected in 2013 just outside Jerusalem.
“We are here because our class believes that our generation needs to learn as much as we can about 9/11 the same way we have with the Holocaust,” one student said. “It is so important that we learn all we can, and appreciate the heroes who put themselves in danger to help.”
With the students at the ceremony were Jewish National Fund board president Dick Berman, JNF Israel Advocacy and Education Director Tal Shaked, recently arrived San Francisco Israeli Consul General Shlomi Kofman and JCHS teacher Roni Alperin.
Deputy Chiefs Mark Gonzales, Andy Zanoff and Raemona Williams and Fire Commissioner Stephen Nakajo attended the ceremony along with staff members from the Israeli Consulate.