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Event is now canceled

Ely school cancels 9/11 tribute event

Tribute event partnership dissolved with conservative youth group

Keith Vandervort
Posted 9/8/21

UPDATED:

ELY – A special tribute event at Ely school memorializing the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks planned has been called off.

In an email announcement to local media on Wednesday afternoon, after the Timberjay’s deadline, Ely Memorial High School 6-12 Principal Megan Anderson wrote, “The Ely Student Council 9/11 Event scheduled for September 10th has been canceled. We will commemorate the 20th anniversary of September 11th at the Veteran’s Day ceremony in November.”

As reported in this week’s edition of the Timberjay, the event was originally dubbed the “9/11 Never Forget Project,” and was organized by the school student council, in partnership with the politically-conservative Young America’s Foundation. When made aware of the political ramifications of the partnership, ISD 696 officials were quick to dissolve any involvement with the organization.

“We are not partnering with the Young America Foundation,” Erie told the Timberjay this week. “What we try to do is to stay apolitical. YAF certainly has a strong political bandwidth on different issues. If it was a politically- liberal action committee or organization, we wouldn’t endorse that either. Or anything in the middle.”

Read more about the controversy in the Sept. 10 issue of the Timberjay.

ELY – With ISD 696 officials facing controversies such as a recent book-banning request and a face-mask wearing policy reversal at the start of the new school year, another political hot potato …

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Event is now canceled

Ely school cancels 9/11 tribute event

Tribute event partnership dissolved with conservative youth group

Posted

UPDATED:
ELY – A special tribute event at Ely school memorializing the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks planned has been called off.
In an email announcement to local media on Wednesday afternoon, after the Timberjay’s deadline, Ely Memorial High School 6-12 Principal Megan Anderson wrote, “The Ely Student Council 9/11 Event scheduled for September 10th has been canceled. We will commemorate the 20th anniversary of September 11th at the Veteran’s Day ceremony in November.”
As reported in this week’s edition of the Timberjay, the event was originally dubbed the “9/11 Never Forget Project,” and was organized by the school student council, in partnership with the politically-conservative Young America’s Foundation. When made aware of the political ramifications of the partnership, ISD 696 officials were quick to dissolve any involvement with the organization.
“We are not partnering with the Young America Foundation,” Erie told the Timberjay this week. “What we try to do is to stay apolitical. YAF certainly has a strong political bandwidth on different issues. If it was a politically- liberal action committee or organization, we wouldn’t endorse that either. Or anything in the middle.”
(see story below from the Sept. 10 Timberjay)

ISD 696 avoids political controversy over 911 anniversary program

ELY – With ISD 696 officials facing controversies such as a recent book-banning request and a face-mask wearing policy reversal at the start of the new school year, another political hot potato was thrown into the lap of school administrators over a 9/11 tribute organized by the Memorial High School student council.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and United Flight 93 that took the lives of nearly 3,000 people. A public memorial is scheduled to be held at 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 10 at the Ely Veteran’s Memorial baseball field (see additional details below).
Originally dubbed the “9/11 Never Forget Project,” the event was organized by the school student council, led by senior Micah Larson, president of the organization’s executive board, in partnership with Young America’s Foundation.
According to its website, the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) was founded in 1960 at the estate of conservative writer William F. Buckley Jr. with the promulgation of principles directed against Communism and in favor of economic freedom and minimal government. 
Young America’s Foundation spokesman Spencer Brown said, “YAF’s 9/11: Never Forget Project provides a meaningful opportunity to remember the everyday heroes forged in stairwells of the Twin Towers, on Flight 93 in the skies above Pennsylvania, and along the Pentagon’s corridors. In trying and divisive times such as these, uniting Americans to honor a day of unbearable loss that brought unbreakable unity reminds us that what we have in common matters more than our disagreements: We are all Americans—a fact worth being proud of.”
Plans for the public event were announced early last week and display advertisements were developed for local media outlets, apparently with the authority of student council advisor Autumn Boedeker and 6-12 principal Megan Anderson.
A display ad that ran on page 5B of the Sept. 4, 2021 edition of the Timberjay read, “EHS Student Council Partners with Y.A.F. Foundation.” The advertisement also stated, “The Ely Memorial Student Council is teaming up with Young America’s Foundation to hold a ceremony in honor of the victims and to recognize the efforts of local heroes.”
“During the week leading up to the event, and at the event, donations are being collected which will support the 9/11 Never Forget Project and benefit a veteran-related charity of EHS Student Council’s choice,” according to the ad. The EHS Student Council also welcomed individual and business sponsorships for the event.
ISD 696 administrators were apparently made aware of the school’s involvement with politically-conservative YAF organization late last Wednesday or early last Thursday and took steps to disassociate the student council event from involvement with the group.
Ely 6-12 Principal Megan Anderson contacted the Timberjay early Thursday morning to make changes to the display ad promoting the 9/11 tribute event; however, the newspaper had already gone to print and changes to the ad were not possible.
The Timberjay was contacted by a community resident who voiced concerns with the school district’s involvement with YAF. Anderson was asked last Friday how the involvement of YAF with the Ely high school student council originated.
“I can’t answer that. It never crossed my radar,” she said, and directed additional queries to Superintendent Erik Erie.
“We are not partnering with the Young America Foundation,” Erie said. “What we try to do is to stay apolitical. YAF certainly has a strong political bandwidth on different issues. (Student Council advisor) Autumn unwittingly approved the 9/11 event, not knowing or understanding what YAF represents. Right or wrong, if it was a politically-liberal action committee or organization, we wouldn’t endorse that either. Or anything in the middle.”
Another Ely media outlet ran an updated version of the promotional ad last weekend for the school’s 9/11 tribute event. There were no references to a partnership with Young America’s Foundation
The updated advertisement said donations are being collected, but rather than supporting the YAF’s “9/11 Never Forget Project,” or a veteran-related charity of EHS student council’s choice, monies collected “will support the Ely Student Council.”
For the 9/11 tribute event, the outfield at Ely’s baseball field will be lined with 2,977 American flags, one for each of the American lives lost when hijacked airliners were crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. A fourth plane was crashed into a Pennsylvania field. A brief ceremony will be held for the public event. Plans call for the baseball field to be open the entire weekend to allow visitors to view the flags.

Ely to host somber 9/11 procession
ELY -There will be a somber procession of emergency vehicles here to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Saturday, Sept. 11, beginning at 9 a.m.
Emergency vehicles from Ely, Babbitt, and Morse Township will proceed with emergency lights down Sheridan Street from Central Avenue to the Dorothy Molter Museum and back again. This procession is to remember the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and to honor the responders who lost their lives responding to the disaster.
The public is invited to view this procession along Sheridan Street. Officials ask that those in attendance remove hats and observe a moment of silence as the procession passes in recognition of the 343 New York City firefighters, 23 New York City police officers, and 37 officers of the Port Authority who paid the ultimate sacrifice twenty years ago.

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