In Remembrance

To those who lost their lives on October 27th, 2018


Cennedi Fry

Students gather in the commons area to remember those victims from the Tree of Life Synagogue during lunch time.

William Beddick, News Editor

“I felt a call for action,” said global studies and European history teacher Mrs. Pellegrino helped students to create the vigil held in the commons area at GLSHS for the Tree of Life shooting victims.

Monday morning after the shooting that took place in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania on October 27th, 2018 was spent having open class discussions about the shooting and its impact being so close. Many were speechless by this act of hate and touched by others to act on this and Pellegrino felt just the same.

“My cousins are members of the Tree of Life Synagogue, so there is a family connection,” Pellegrino said. This was one of her key inspirations for action, but she wanted to make sure that something was very clear. “The idea of having a vigil came from the students who sparked this idea from discussions we had in class and I did whatever I could do,” said Pellegrino.

Leaders of the vigil in the commons were students Max McMichael, Radhika Mehta, Josie Rodell, and Anna Steffey. Max McMichael was in charge of the quotes spoken at the vigil and the presentation showcasing each victim on the flat screen televisions

As a student, I felt that we needed to show to others that we are against hate crimes and are open minded about religion”

— Max McMichael

“As a student, I felt that we needed to show to others that we are against hate crimes and are open minded about religion,” said McMichael. Having talked about the shooting in her global studies class, McMichael came up with the idea of having a memorial in the commons just like the Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting memorial also in the commons the previous year.

With approval from Mr. Mains, the 11-12 Principal, the plan of having a vigil for the Tree of Life victims was sent into motion. Another person that helped a bit to bring a piece together was Mrs Clair, “Mrs Clair asked about having battery operated candles at the vigil and it was a nice part of the vigil,” Pellegrino said.

When, the lunch and learn dismissal bell rang, a crowd of around 30 teachers, faculty, and students alike gathered to commemorate and honor the victims. “Everyone had tears in their eyes and when the song was sung everyone had linked to each others hands,” McMichael said.

Radhika Mehta read an introduction telling a brief summary of the shooting that had occurred at the synagogue on that Saturday morning. A reading of the victims names and a moment of silence honored each other eleven victims.

As the vigil came to a close, Pellegrino felt proud of her students and said, “They set an important example of our school, community, and country and I really hope their actions inspire other to stand up to hate.”

Tearfully, Pellegrino said the words, “I don’t want to cry,” as she reflected on the vigil and how it has not only impacted her life or McMichael’s, but all of those in our Greater Latrobe community.