HistoryOperation Eternal Gratitude started as a gift drive that began at Central Bucks East in response to the September 11th attack on the Pentagon. It was sponsored by the Armed Services YMCA with Barbara May as the faculty advisor. It was a joint project for assistance to the families of the victims.Over The HolidaysThe Junior class initiated a project to send gifts to the families of the victims of the September 11 attach on the Pentagon. The single-class project soon became a joint project with the Sophomore and Senior classes."Operation Eternal Gratitude," was named by sophomore Rachel Dillion and her father David Dillion. Enlisting the help of fellow classmates, Junior Danielle Critchfield was the artistic director and gift coordinator; Juniors Dawn Aneiss, Tara Musolino and Mark Ockenhouse solicited community support as did seniors Marica Blatman and Jull Bauer and sophomores Steve Bagnull, Kim Majewski and Kristin Panicella.Sophomore Keith York brought the first donation from his mother's military unit, the 111th Security Force Fighter Wing Air National Guard, Willow Grove. There were countless students and staff that contributed gifts and baked goods for two bake sales. All of the proceeds were donated to the project.Karen Spooner of the Armed Services YMCA volunteered to transport and to coordinate the distribution of the gift bags and Santa Sacks. With her support the gift drive was successfully completed with direct delivery to those in need. Additionally, Mrs. Spooner featured East students in an article and picture published in the Armed Services YMCA newsletter, Autumn edition.In each of the gift bags was a note, which read:"In our acknowledgement of those families who have sustained great losses as a result of the Pentagon tragedy of September 11th, and in memory of those who perished, we extend heartfelt sympathies and deepest thanks for their spirit, courage, and dedication. It is because of their commitment that Americans remain free. We will not forget, but will remain in eternal gratitude. Please accept these tokens of our appreciation."Who Benefitted From This Drive?We sponsored 15 families from the Willow Grove area, 50 children who lost a loved one, and a commemorative gift drive for each of the families of the victims of the Pentagon.