Category Archives: Bellmore

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham High School students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am EST; one minute for each student shot and killed last month in a Parkland, Florida, H.S. It was part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with student shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence.

Bellmore-Merrick Students Walkout to Protest Gun Violence: Déjà Vu

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
March 14, 2018

Today, over a hundred Wellington C. Mepham High School students walked out of class from 10:00 to 10:17 AM, one month after a teen used a semi-automatic rifle to kill 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas H. S. in Parkland, FLA.  

  • Click each photo for larger version – SLIDESHOW link also at end
North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 AM; one minute for each student shot and killed last month at a Parkland, Florida, H.S. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 AM; one minute for each student shot and killed last month at a high school in Parkland, Florida. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

2018 National Student Walkout: 17 minutes

Mepham’s walkout was part of a nationwide protest to show solidarity with student shooting victims, and to demand U.S. lawmakers enact regulations and laws to reduce gun violence.

By 9:45 AM, several Nassau County patrol cars were parked on Camp Avenue in front of Mepham. School administration had requested police “just in case.” But neither the officers nor the school security guard, standing a distance from the walkout, needed to interact with protestors.

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Security Guard in red jacket watches as Mepham High School students, protesting gun violence, walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am.  ( © 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Security Guard in red jacket watches as Mepham High School students, protesting gun violence, walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am.  ( © 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Several adults drove or walked to Mepham and stopped to look at the protest held at the west side of the school building. The most visible focal point from the street was four students standing on a bench and holding up big handmade protest signs. 

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, drove to Mepham to watch students walkout to protest gun violence.

[Photo digitally altered to remove color from car/driver] North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, drove to Mepham H. S. to watch students walkout to protest gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, stopped her car in front of Mepham to watch the protest. When asked why she was there this morning, Photiou said:

“I wanted to see the kids. I wanted to see our future. That’s why I came.
“We have to do this. We have to support them. Absolutely.”

Midway through the walkout, a car with a man and woman in it stopped in front of the school. The driver said they’d come from the student walkout at Calhoun High School – which, like Mepham, is in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District. Smiling, she added there were so many students protesting outside Calhoun it looked like the whole school was participating in the walkout.

Déjà Vu: Vietnam War 50 Years Ago

The Vietnam War started not long after after I was born. By the late 1960’s, protests, notably including student protests, were helping turn public opinion against having American troops in Vietnam, which significantly helped lead to the withdrawal of our last troops by 1973.

I first began to understand the cost of the Vietnam War in 1968 when I was a junior at Calhoun High School. A military draft seemed guaranteed in the near future (in fact, the 1st draft lottery for Vietnam War was held Sept. 1969), and one of my closest friends, Tom, a senior, waited anxiously to find out if he was accepted into a military band, considered a safer assignment than the alternative. My senior year, a small but earnest group of students held a walkout to protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. And in Calhoun’s Main Lobby, the plaque commemorating graduates who died serving in Vietnam had even more brass nameplates than expected for a school our size.

When I was an undergraduate student at SUNY New Paltz, Vietnam War protests were an inescapable part of life on campus, starting with the protest songs during Orientation Week concerts, just weeks after and 50 miles away from the Woodstock festival…  including a sit-in at the Administration Building around the time of the Kent State massacre, May 1970…  and continuing until our troops totally left Vietnam, shortly before I graduated.

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S.  students walk out of class, as part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class, as part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Signs of the Times

Properly motivated lawmakers – who replaced incumbents, when necessary – can pass regulations and laws that both keep Second Amendment rights intact and also help significantly reduce the amount of gun violence, which is significantly, outrageously worse here than in other countries.

Today’s National Student Walkout to Protest Gun Violence is a hopeful step in the right direction. On March 24th there’s the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC, and local communities. After that it’s time for the next steps.  

#ENOUGH  Protect Kids Not Guns  #NeverAgain 

Mepham Students Walkout:  SLIDESHOW | GALLERY

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To Light a Candle… 9/11

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
September 11, 2017

On each anniversary of September 11, 2001, but not only on each anniversary, I remember the events of that day and how they’ve changed our world.

SLIDESHOW:


On Sept. 11, 2001, we were a week or so into the new school year at Grand Avenue Middle School in Bellmore, Long Island. Except for our class computers suddenly losing internet access early that morning, it began as an ordinary Tuesday.

Sept. 11, 2012 - Merrick, New York, U.S. - LYLA W., 3, and KATE O., 2, helping place 500 Luminary Bags (votive candle in each bag will be lit at dark) in front of 215 Wenshaw Park homes, on 11th Anniversary of 9/11, by Wenshaw Park Civic Association (WPCA), Long Island, with over $500 already raised for Twin Towers Orphan Fund. (Ann Parry/-)

Merrick, New York, USA. Sept. 11, 2012.  LYLA W., 3, and KATE O., 2, help place 500 luminary bags (votive candle in each bag will be lit at dark) in front of 215 Wenshaw Park homes, by Wenshaw Park Civic Association, Long Island, to raise funds for Twin Towers Orphan Fund.  (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Then, as students passed from one class to another, a few of my writing students came in announcing news they’d heard on the radio in art class: “Two planes crashed into the Twin Towers!”

“What?!” I said. “Well… one plane might have that sort of accident, but not two – the same day. Someone must’ve heard the info wrong.”

But, over the loudspeaker later that morning, our principal, Fino Celano, gave us the news – calmly, solemnly – of the terrorist attacks on Manhattan’s Twin Towers, the Pentagon… then the plane crash in the Pennsylvania field. No one had heard the info wrong.

Fund raiser for firefighter Ray Pfeifer on Saturday, March 31, 2012, at East Meadow Firefighters Benevolent Hall, New York, USA. Rep. Pete King shown with Ray Pfeifer and the firefighter's wife CARYN, daughter TAYLOR, and son TERRENCE. (Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

East Meadow, NY, USA. March 31, 2012. At fundraiser for firefighter Ray Pfeifer – battling cancer after months of recovery efforts at Ground Zero following 9/11 2001 Twin Towers attack – are, L-R, in front row: son TERRENCE, daughter TAYLOR , wife CARYN, and, in back row: RAY PFEIFER, and Congressman PETE KING (who helped fight for World Trade Center Health Program), at East Meadow Firefighters Benevolent Hall. (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

When I got home from school that afternoon, the tile floors our construction workers had ripped up from the kitchen and surrounding rooms the day before were more scattered than stacked. We were replacing our radiant in-floor heating, and the ground floor looked “like a bomb went off” – though I felt guilty even having that thought.

So the night of September 11, 2001, my husband Len, my older daughter Sue and I ate dinner at a local cafe.

Throughout the meal we watched the news coverage of the attacks on the TV up in the corner, and whispered “Nightmare… surreal… oh my god….”

Manhattan, NY, USA. March 17, 2009. FDNY firefighter LUKE ALLEN wears in his hat a card with photo of his older brother firefighter RICHARD D. ALLEN, one of 343 FDNY firefighters killed responding to terrorist attacks on Twin Towers 9/11. (© 2009 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Manhattan, NY, USA. March 17, 2009. Marching in St. Patrick’s Day Parade, FDNY firefighter LUKE ALLEN displays on his hat a photo of his older brother firefighter RICHARD D. ALLEN, one of 343 FDNY firefighters killed responding to terrorist attacks on Twin Towers Sept. 11, 2001. (© 2009 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

My younger daughter Laurie was at college in Westchester. During one of our calls later that week, I told her I wanted to get her a cell phone, especially because of her trips between college and home.

Though she didn’t think she needed one, by the end of the call she understood that her mom really needed her to have one.

Removing American Flag to reveal monument made with steel from World Trade Center, at the Merrick Post #1282 American Legion Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 ceremony, are (left to right) Rabbi Paul Kirchner, Father Eric Fasano, Adjutant Robert Tom Riordan PCC, and North Merrick Fire Dept. Ex. Chief Henry Hinrichs, at Merrick Veterans Memorial Park, Merrick, New York, USA, on September 11, 2011.(Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. Sept. 11, 2011. Removing American Flag to reveal monument made with steel from World Trade Center, at Merrick Post #1282 American Legion 10th Anniversary of 9/11 ceremony, are (L-R) Rabbi PAUL KIRCHNER; Father ERIC FASANO; Adjutant ROBERT TOM RIORDAN, PCC; and North Merrick Fire Dept. Ex. Chief HENRY HINRICHS at Merrick Veterans Memorial Park.  (© 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Our neighbors across the street lost their son who worked in the Twin Towers.

A Grand Avenue coworker lost her first responder firefighter husband, and two of our students lost their fathers.

During lunch period, a fellow teacher told us how ever since 9/11 he was having nightmares about being trapped underground.

And American flags multiplied everywhere, and so did patience and kindness. I didn’t notice a car horn honking for at least a year.

And we also had color-coded terrorism threat advisories….

Manhattan, NY, USA - January 9, 2012: Movie poster

Manhattan, NY, USA.  January 9, 2012. Movie poster EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE is displayed lit at night over Penn Station subway entrance with Empire State Building in background. Fictional movie is set at time of 9/11 terrorist attacks on Twin Towers in NYC. (© 2012 Ann E Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Since 2001 our country and many others continue to have terror threat alerts — for events, buildings, airlines & metros, cities…. 

And I do feel a bit reckless, a tiny bit brave, heading to Manhattan when a terror alert’s been issued.

North Bellmore Fire Department 9/11 remembrance ceremony and unveiling of two pieces of steel from World Trade Center added to existing 9/11 monument, North Bellmore, New York, USA, on September 10, 2011. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. Sept. 10, 2011. North Bellmore Fire Department 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony and unveiling of two pieces of steel from World Trade Center added to existing 9/11 monument. (© 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

My young grandson and younger granddaughter, along with all children, can only imagine the world before 9/11/20101 through images and stories that grow older as they do.

And I can barely begin to imagine the feelings and pain of those killed, injured, struck with cancer, and of those who lost loved ones, due to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

But with gratitude to the first responders and other 9/11 heroes – and with hope – I can never forget.    – Ann

East Meadow, New York, USA. Summer 2017. Four birds fly over Twin Towers sculpture monument at Eisenhower Park 9/11 Monument section. (Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

East Meadow, NY, USA. Sept. 10, 2017. Four birds fly over Twin Towers steel sculpture at Eisenhower Park 9/11 Monument. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

“It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” – Chinese Proverb

9/11 Over the Years:  SLIDESHOW |  GALLERY

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