PARSIPPANY — Parsippany Rescue & Recovery helped Madison Elementary School Student Michael Voeller to complete his Eagle Scout Award in Norman, Oklahoma.
The significance of the project lies in the fact that April 19, 2015 was the twentieth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.
Bill Sanford, President of Parsippany Rescue & Recovery, connected with Michael Voeller on Facebook where he read about Michael’s Eagle Scout project to beautify the Madison Elementary School Peace Garden with the intention of serving as a place of peace, hope and serenity for those still in need of comfort. This was to include the planting of a tree grown from a seedling that originated from the Oklahoma City Memorial Survivor tree at the site of the Alfred P. Murrah bombing.
Because the project sounded interesting to Bill Sanford, he shared the information with members of the Rescue & Recovery squad who were most receptive and excited to participate. It hit home because many members of our rescue community went to Oklahoma to assist with the rescue efforts of the bombing in 1995. The response of rescue personnel from New York & New Jersey set the standard called “The Oklahoma Standard”.
When the World Trade Center Memorial was opened in New York City, a tree that grew from a seedling of that same Oklahoma Memorial Survivor tree was planted there also. When Rescue & Recovery volunteers learned of the importance of Michael’s project, they were eager to provide support.
In preparation of the twentieth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, Michael Voeller worked diligently to replace the tree wall at Madison Elementary School and installed a new plaque stand to accommodate the original plaque from the tenth anniversary of the bombing, a plaque to honor those lost or forever changed by the events of that day and a plaque listing project supporters. Parsippany Rescue & Recovery provided two benches for the peace garden.
Michael continued to work with the principal and faculty of the school to educate the students about the preservation and purpose of the memorial and why, at the twentieth anniversary, it is important to come together in remembrance.
Michael Voeller and Parsippany Rescue & Recovery are selfless community champions who serve as role models who have utilized their talents to make a difference in the world.