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Wantagh Warrior 9/11 Memorial 5K Run


The Wantagh School District Announces the Inaugural Wantagh Warrior

9/11 Memorial 5K Presented by the Gary Sinise Foundation


The Wantagh School District will host the Inaugural Wantagh Warrior 9/11 Memorial 5K on Sunday, September 22, 2024 honoring the bravery and memory of those from the Wantagh community who were lost on September 11, 2001. Wantagh Schools is honored and proud to announce that the Gary Sinise Foundation, which was established in 2011 by Actor and Humanitarian Gary Sinise to support our Nation’s veterans, first responders, heroes and defenders, is the Gold Star sponsor, continuing the partnership with the school district which began last spring.


Wantagh High School was selected by the Gary Sinise Foundation to participate in the “Soaring Valor Program,” where 20 students escorted 20 WWII Veterans to the WWII Museum in New Orleans for three days last April where these heroes’ oral histories were recorded to share with future generations.  The experience was life-changing for both veterans and students. Last August, the Gary Sinise Foundation once again partnered with Wantagh High School to participate in their first ever 9/11 Memorial & Museum educational program where students born after September 11, 2001 were provided a guided tour of the museum and interacted with first responders who served on that day and the years that followed to bridge that knowledge across generations.


“This past summer, we were able to send a large group from Wantagh High School to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and it was a very impactful trip,” said John McNamara, Superintendent of Wantagh School District. “It started us down a path of looking to do a bit more in preserving the memory and historical events of the day.”


Each year on September 11th during homeroom, the names of those with ties to the Wantagh community are read aloud to preserve their memory.  “Many of us who were alive that day have stories we can tell firsthand, but we are moving into a new era as the next generation of teachers do not have those memories. Through no fault of their own, they will be teaching about 9/11 from a video or book,” said Dr. Paul Guzzone, Principal of Wantagh High School. “We have to make sure we educate our students and educators as we move past 9/11 to keep these memories alive which is why we formed the Wantagh 9/11 Committee to honor the memory of September 11th through educational programs and commemorative events, that engage the schools and community.”


In addition to the 5K, 9/11 inspired scholarships will be established for seniors to apply for, and a portion of the funds will be allocated towards a 9/11 Memorial to be placed on the school district grounds in the future.


Special military, first responder, and student rates are available. Children can participate in the Kids 400m Dash beginning at 8:30 a.m. For race, volunteer, donation, and sponsorship opportunities, please visit the WW 911 Run website. For additional information, please contact the 9/11 Committee at For more information on the Gary Sinise Foundation, please visit The Gary Sinise Foundation Website.



Gary Sinise is an award-winning actor and humanitarian, best known for his roles in CSI:NY, Apollo 13, and his Oscar-nominated performance in the film Forrest Gump as the wounded Vietnam veteran Lt. Dan Taylor. An advocate for our nation’s defenders since the 1980s, after 9/11 Sinise began a tireless crusade to support America’s military and first responders around the world with handshake tours and concerts with his band, the Lt. Dan Band. In 2011, he established the Gary Sinise Foundation as an extension of those efforts. Today, the Foundation is building custom homes for severely wounded heroes, honoring and supporting the families of our fallen, providing essential equipment and training for first responders, improving the mental wellness of our defenders, and so much more. For more information and to support, visit Gary Sinise Foundation website.



The Wantagh School District prides itself on educating the whole student through its focus on academic excellence as well as social skills and respect for others. Each school supports a collaborative and supportive environment for students and staff alike. The district, located just 25 miles east of New York City in Wantagh, NY, includes three elementary schools (K-5), one New York State Essential Elements School to Watch middle school (6-8), one National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence high school (9-12), and was named a NAMM Foundation Best Communities for Music Education program. For more information, please visit Wantagh


*Fore press inquiries, please contact Kimberly Thomas at (516) 765-4104 or