9/11 uniform donation returns to East St. John home

Raquel Derganz Baker L’Observateur

East St. John High School recently reopened its doors to students, but students aren’t the only thing that has returned.

Terri Prough, a parapro teaching assistant at ESJH recently brought back a piece of memorabilia to the school, a uniform from an officer who was at the Twin Towers on 9/11.

After the attack the school sent care packages to the responders. In return New York Police Department Officer Robbie Mitchell spent three days visiting with ESJH students, telling them what he saw at the scene as tried to help rescue people.

Terri Prough displays the 9/11 uniform donated to East St. John High School.

Terri Prough displays the 9/11 uniform donated to East St. John High School.

Mitchell told students about the devastation and the people stuck on high floors jumping to their death because they didn’t want to be burned by the fires.

Along with speaking with the students, Mitchell gave the school his police uniform.

The school placed the uniform in a case in the library until Hurricane Isaac damaged the school in 2012.

“The uniform wasn’t damaged, but the school was starting to get mold,” Prough said.

“The uniform was in a glass case, but they were worried that the mold spores got into the case, so they had the uniform pulled out.”

Faculty members had to wait months after the storm before they were allowed back into the school.

“When they said that we could go in and take our belongings, I left my belongings and just took the uniform,” Prough said.

Prough truly feels like the uniform is an important part of history — a symbol of the rebuilding of our country.

Prough said she will be gone in 50 years, but saved the uniform as a remembrance of the effort ESJH students made to help out the 9/11 responders.

A new case is being ordered so the police uniform can once again be displayed for  student and  faculty to enjoy.

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