April 13, 2024
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Teaneck Troop 226 Climbs 110 Stories to Remember Heroes of 9/11

Teaneck’s Boy Scout Troop 226, chartered to the Teaneck Jewish Center, opened its 2016-2017 season last week with a 9/11 memorial stair climb. Scouts and Scouters climbed 110 stories in memory of the 415 first responders who lost their lives in a valiant attempt to rescue the injured and trapped victims of the World Trade Center terror attack.

Of course, the current scouts in the troop are all too young to remember that day. “When I was growing up, people used to talk about being able to remember exactly where they were when JFK was shot,” Scout Leader Simeon Oppenheim told the Scouts. “September 11, 2001 was that kind of day. Everyone can remember where they were when they heard about the attack. I hope there is never a terrible day like that again in your lifetime,” he continued.

Scoutmaster Daniel Chazin emphasized the importance of honoring the firemen, policemen, paramedics and EMTs who rushed to lower Manhattan to try to save as many lives as they could and preserving the memory of those who lost their lives in that heroic effort. “The motto of the scouts is ‘Be Prepared.’ That preparation is the best way to help you cope with whatever happens, even if it is unexpected or unimaginable.

Led by Senior Patrol Leader Moshe Gutfreund, scouts Shai Gutfreund, Daniel Fuksbrumer and Benjamin Oppenheim began their climb. Scout leaders Daniel Chazin, Uri Gutfreund and Simeon Oppenheim also participated. They were cheered on by siblings Benjamin and Aryeh Gutfreund. The idea was to climb the five flights of stairs at the Carriage IV Office Center on Teaneck Road 22 times over the course of 90 minutes, and several of the participants—Moshe Gutfreund, Benjamin Oppenheim and Simeon Oppenheim—achieved that goal.

At the end of the stair climb, Uri Gutfreund pointed from the fifth-story window. Clearly visible on the horizon was the new Freedom Tower, built where the Twin Towers once stood. “Fifteen years ago, I watched the Towers burn from this window,” he said. This tangible connection with the events of 9/11 made the stair climb even more meaningful for the participants.

Simeon Oppenheim expressed the troop’s appreciation to Carriage IV Office Center, AEO Management and Uri Gutfreund for making the memorial climb possible. “It is not easy to find a staircase in the suburbs of any significant height, let alone one that we can make use of. The connection between scouting and public service is strong, and we’re glad the boys could learn about and memorialize the heroes of that tragic day in this way.”

The climb was followed by a joint Open House scout meeting at Teaneck’s Votee Park with Cub Scout Pack 613, chartered to Congregation Ahavat Achim of Fair Lawn. Scouts, scout leaders and pack leaders demonstrated scouting skills, such as erecting tents, building fire lays for campfires and creating paracord survival bracelets. They also discussed upcoming events, such as hikes, canoe trips, rock climbing and overnight camping trips. Existing and prospective scouts had the opportunity to meet, show off their skills and learn new ones.

For more information about Boy Scout Troop 226, contact Daniel Chazin, [email protected].

By JLNJ Staff

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