To Our Classmates
As the years passed after the attack on September 11, 2001, it became clear to us that we wanted to honor our friend and classmate, Patrice Sobin Paz. Not only was Patrice the only Pascack Valley High School alumna to lose her life that day, she had done so through an act of extraordinary bravery. Patrice had escaped the World Trade Center’s south tower with her co-workers, but she had reentered the burning building to try to find one pregnant woman, who was missing.This was the Patrice who we had known: bright, decisive, responsible and deeply caring about others. She deserved to be remembered.  

For several years, we asked ourselves how that remembrance would take place. What form should our tribute take? When would it be most appropriate and where? As the tenth anniversary of the historic day drew near, we knew the time had come. Upon learning that our old high school had established a new tradition, the planting of memorial trees on its campus, we approached Tom DeMaio, principal of PVHS, and found an able and sympathetically. With the considerable assistance of Tom and his staff, we chose the “reflective well” between two buildings at the Valley as the site for Patrice’s memorial. The PVHS staff prepared the site, while we chose and ordered a tree and an engraved memorial stone for beneath it.

It is a Jonathan apple tree, a self-fruiting, dwarf variety that bears medium-sized apples, said to be sweet with a touch of acid – attributes also descriptive of Patrice! Patrice’s sisters had requested an apple tree because they grew up picking apples from their own tree in Hillsdale. The stone marker embedded at the foot of the tree states simple, “In Memory of Patrice Sobin Paz, September 11, 2001, PVHS Class of 1967.”

On the pale gray afternoon of Sunday, September 11, 2011, the Patrice Sobin Paz Memorial was formally dedicated. In attendance were some of Patrice’s former classmates, Principal Tom DeMaio and Patrice’s five surviving sisters (all PVHS grads) and their families. The current Student Body President, a young man named Cory, and numerous current students also attended – kids who had not been more than five to seven years old in 2001, and who had memories of the day we remember
all too well. From the new young tree’s branches, we hung a white ribbon – from the ones given out by St. Paul’s Church, at the World Trade Center site in New York City.   The ribbon is inscribed, “Remember to Love.” Patrice did.

The five Sobin sisters expressed their gratitude. They said that they had always thought the loss of Patrice as theirs alone, and not realized how many of her friends missed her too. Dean Sobin Meloro, Patrice’s oldest sister, now resides in Park Ridge. She noted that, “at the 9/11 Memorial site in New York City, Patrice is one of three thousand. Here (at our memorial), she is one of one”.

We are deeply appreciative for the support we have received. We thank every one of you. The generous contributions from PVHS and PHHS classes of 1967 have enabled us to purchase the tree and the memorial stone, and to underwrite much of the cost of the landscaping in “Patrice’s Corner”. Additional donations, still coming in, will go towards the cost and upkeep of Patrice’s Memorial site.
We hope that if you are visiting in the area, you will come to PVHS and see the memorial for yourselves. The “courtyard” garden site has a small pond, created by students, and benches. It is a pleasant, verdant spot in a vibrant school. We think Patrice would have like it.
Cecily Burke
Richard Cameron

The doors at Pascack Valley HS were opened this Sunday, September 11, 2011, to greet visitors to the PV-Patrice Sobin (Paz) Memorial tree-planting and stone marker service.
Over 40 attended – including the five Sobin sisters, family & friends, fellow ’67 alumnae, PVHS Principal Thomas DeMaio and also students -- a number of whom are currently active on the Smoke Signal Committee to which Patrice was so dedicated as Co-Editor during our years there.
 The stone medallion (note: double click on this—and any/all other photos for a larger view) will stand as a marker and provide focus for the picturesque site further highlighted by the apple tree planted in the name and honor of PV-Patrice Sobin (Paz).
 Thoughtful speeches before those in attendance were presented by the PVHS Principal and also by PV-Student Government President Cory Laga gracefully connecting the historical link between PVHS then and now
PV-Cecily Burke (Taussig) spoke
of her wonderful friendship
with Patrice and Patrice's family
growing up in Hillsdale.
PV-Rich Cameron then spoke of
his life-long friendship with
Patrice and Patrice's family
​growing up in Hillsdale as well.
Dear Cecily, Rich and all involved,
Thank you for taking the time to organize the memorial and gathering for Patrice.
 It was sad and yet another opportunity to learn to value life and remember what a gift we had in our friendships and whole school experience.  It was wonderful seeing the Sobin girls and their families and I felt special that on a day when they were at ground zero they come back to see us and so graciously gave us their picture buttons and their hugs. 
Patrice was truly a wonderful person and a determined female we could all be proud off.  To me, she was just my childhood playmate who warmly welcomed me into her home and gave me a first exposure to Jewish holidays and traditions. 
It was wonderful seeing everyone who came and certainly nastalgic walking thru the PV halls.  As soon as I walked in I remembered standing in the hall in front of the auditorium when they announced Kennedy had been shot.  When I left the driveway I thought of my first car accident when I hit Mr. Wallace's car! 
My husband (of 10 years) worked and still works in the World financial Center and I feel very blessed that he came home that day.
See you next year.
PV-Toni Maggio-George
Below is an open letter to the  Classof67,
authored by PV-Cecily Burke (Taussig),
describing plans for a special Memorial in the
memory of Classmate 
PV-Patrice Sobin (Paz)
that she is organizing along with PV-Rich Cameron
to be added this upcoming September 11th, 2011
to the 9/11 Memorial in place at Pascack Valley HS.
Appearing just below that is an Invitation to all  
Classof 6Classmates
to participate in this tribute
and most worthwhile memorial

in person and/or via contribution
followed by photos depicting the
location of this PVHS 9/11 Memorial Site.


As some of you may know, Rich Cameron and I are spearheading
 a memorial for Patrice Sobin Paz.
We have been talking for several years about doing something,
 since she is the only one of us
Pascack Valley or Pascack Hills, who is a documented 9/11/01 victim
 and since she was our friend.
As the only Pascack Valley alum to be among the lost,
 Patrice Sobin Paz was OUR 9/11.
For me, at least, hers is the face of that tragedy,
 as much as Anne Frank's image evokes the Holocaust.
We have contacted PVHS and Patrice's family.
Rich is the liaison for PVHS, which now has
 a new tradition o f9/11 memorial trees.
The trees are planted in some kind of a grove, between buildings,
 and there is a pond, too,I am told.
 (I am in CA, so I haven't seen this, and it wasn't there
 at our reunion weekend in 2007.)
It sounds like a lovely spot for students to "get away" for brief periods
 to reflect... or worry!
I am in charge of ordering the memorial bench or stone
 (not sure yet which we'll do) for beneath it.
Rich is in charge of collecting donations
 to pay for the tree and the stone or bench.
Both of us are in contact with Deen Sobin Meloro,
 Patrice's sister, our liaison to the family.
Patrice's sisters are very grateful that we're doing this.
We think that all of the victims of 9/11/01 should be honored
 and remembered for all of our lifetimes.
Sadly, that will not be. Many lived and died in obscurity.
But Patrice was a Hillsdale girl who grew up in a family of six sisters.
She was an outstanding member of our class,
 and editor of our school newspaper.
She forged a fine career as an insurance risk
management executive for AON. She was at her job,
in the World Trade Center on that terrible day.
The following account was related to me by Patrice's widower, Rolando Paz, a few weeks
after her death, when I saw him in NYC:
According to surviving co-workers,
when the building was hit,
Patrice refused to take the elevator down
 until everyone working under her was accounted for.
Waiting to find a co-worker who was pregnant, Patrice went down too late, and did not survive.
We've decided on a tree-planting ceremony at PVHS
 on the afternoon of Sunday, Sept 11, 2011.
We will be planting an apple tree,
and dedicating an engraved stone bench
 - or else a large stone - beneath it.
PVHS will provide a way for us to plant the tree.
 We will pay for the tree and
the engraved stone or bench.
It will be engraved:
 In memory of Sept. 11, 2001
 and Patrice Sobin Paz. PVHS Class of 1967.
We would like to invite all PVHS and PVHHS
to join us and participate.
It will be both a commemoration
of 9/11/01 and of Patrice.
It will undoubtedly also be a mini-reunion
of sorts,for those who are able to attend.
Any siblings of our class who were friends
with any of the Sobin sisterswould also be welcome,
as they will all be present at our little ceremony.
Anyone who would like to share a memory of Patrice would be welcome to do so.
We are also actively soliciting donations to make this happen!
I've attached an "invitation" (below)
which could go on the website.
Best regards to all of you, my friends,
 and I hope to see you in NYC or in NJ.
I have sent this to random alumni,
those whom I think knew Patrice best
 and those for whom I have email addresses.
I will be there for this memorial;
 flying into Newark at almost midnight on Sept 6.
I'll be departing NJ on Sept. 12.
Cecily Burke
The original World Trade Center
was a complex of seven buildings
including the iconic “Twin Towers”
located in lower Manhattan,
New York City.
It opened on April 4, 1973,
and was destroyed in the
(click on Wikipedia link below):
Click on the link below
for a poignant video anthology
of that fateful day…
A most compelling and moving video of a 9/11 rescue—most totally impromptu and of which we are likely not aware. The largest small-ship rescue ever in history--bigger even than Dunkirk in World War II wherein 350,000 soldiers were rescued by boat. Watch and be proud.
(Sent in by PV-Kathy Galloway Wrenn—thanks Kathy)

Amazing Boat-Lift Rescue on 9/11/01

Many however may not recall that in 1974,
only shortly after the
WTC completion,
a most rare display
(of a daring – yet
creative order)
took place there:
(click on):
What lies before us
at the new WTC..?
This site is currently under reconstruction.  
Please be patient
Thank You!