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Way to Go! William Floyd High School student revamps 9/11 memorial garden

Alexander Guastella, a senior at William Floyd High

Alexander Guastella, a senior at William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, recently renovated the 9/11 memorial garden at John S. Hobart Elementary School in Shirley. Credit: William Floyd School District

A William Floyd High School student has revamped a 9/11 memorial garden at one of his district's elementary schools.

Alexander Guastella, a senior at the school in Mastic Beach, recently renovated the existing garden at John S. Hobart Elementary School in Shirley, which he previously attended. The effort included installing a new sign, painting the garden's original steppingstones and planting two Burkwood viburnum trees side-by-side to represent the Twin Towers.

Guastella, a Boy Scout, pursued the project as of part of his Eagle Scout Award, the highest achievement available within the Boy Scouts of America.

"The garden is important to me because it was originally created in 2002 to honor the memory of the heroes who risked their lives during the tragedy and for our country," said Guastella, 17. "This memorial was created as a tribute to them."

Guastella also placed new mulch in the garden, installed two benches for visitors to sit and reflect, and planted hundreds of daffodils.

"He has created a beautiful space that also honors the original design," said John S. Hobart Principal James Westcott. "His efforts are appreciated on a daily basis by our students, their families and our staff."

Guastella has also been involved in theater since the sixth grade and is a member of his school's all-male a cappella ensemble, The Soundsations.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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