FM Honors Fallen Vietnam War Veterans

By: Elizabeth Anderson



FM welcomed the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall from September 8 through September 12, to honor the 58,272 fallen Vietnam War service members.

It was brought to FM by local law enforcement and was greeted with an opening ceremony on the morning of Friday, September 8.

Standing six feet tall and stretching approximately 300 feet from end to end, the wall is a 3/5 scale of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Margaret DiGiacomo, a Traveling Memorial Wall visitor said, “It’s wonderful to see something like that but it’s still very disheartening and hard to believe so many young people passed away.”

According to the college President Dustin Swanger, the event was a great success, with more than 4,000 students, staff and community members visiting the wall throughout its five days on campus.

The event was coordinated by the FM Veteran Club, who raised $10,000 and provided volunteers for the event.


Ground Zero: Through a Laborer’s Eyes

By: Jeanne Winton

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Photos captured by Jeanne Winton

On September 9 a new art exhibit opened at the Perrella Gallery called, “Through a Laborer’s Eyes.”

The art gallery was filled with photos taken by Louis Pabon as well as other artifacts he’d collected while he was working on Ground Zero. Pabon clocked about 1800 hours while working to clean up the site.

Pabon worked closely with Joel Chapin, and FM art professor, to pick around 120 photos out of the 3,000 he had accumulated during his time working at the site.

With photos of workers smiling and friends working together, Pabon sheds a new light on Sept. 11, 2001 and its aftermath. Pabon stated, “I had a lot of pictures of people and debris, but once I started focusing on the people I began to get a story out of it.”

Pabon’s mission was also in full motion, his mission being to “keep the story of September 11 alive and to educate people.”

At the opening of the exhibit, Pabon gave a speech. He stated, “You do go through certain emotions, but it’s been so long for me that I have a good handle on it; Because I’m on a mission with these pictures”. Pabon wants people to be aware of what happened after September 11 as well, because the aftermath is also a large part of the history. His art is even going on the move, as he’s got a tour set up and is taking his exhibit to 50 states, 51 capitals all across the country after its time here at FM.

Joel Chapin said that Louis had “a unique perspective on ground zero, because he was there every single day.” Chapin stated that when he viewed the exhibit, “even after two years it’s very overwhelming.”

Many people came out to support and view the exhibit. Lawrence VanAlstyne said “It makes it more real. Knowing someone who was there makes a connection. The only real connection is those who have lost loved ones. Everyone else blacks [September 11] out so we don’t get emotionally connected.”

Water Main Break Closes Break

By: Destiny Owens

Students and faculty at FM were surprised with a day off on Tuesday Sept. 13 due to a water main break on campus.

Joshua Flemming, director of facilities, was contacted by another member of the custodial team at 6am on Tuesday informing him of a huge puddle of water discovered on the sidewalk. Upon arriving to campus and seeing the puddle, Flemming concluded that they were not a significant safety risk to those walking on the sidewalk.

Flemming stated, “Our water comes from Johnstown, which ‘feeds’ our fountains, sprinklers, pipes, etc.  Unfortunately, the pipe in the Physical Education building cracked outside the building’s foundation wall.”

Due to the break, FM was closed for the day. Campuses are not allowed to be opened to students or faculty if the water system isn’t working (bathrooms, water fountains, cafeteria, etc.) Campus housing was not affected. Flemming added that if the problem wasn’t addressed immediately, the issue would have escalated.

Everything was repaired after 13 hours of work. In order to fix the damages, the leaking pipe was cut out and replaced. In addition, clamps were installed to the ends so that the pipe would remain in place. Being that the custodial team did not have all of the necessary tools to fix the pipe, contractors were hired.

Flemming said, “We experience these kind of problems during the winter. The pipes tend to freeze and crack. This just so happened to take place [under] better circumstances.”

FM immediately alerted the NYS Department of Health, who tested all water facilities on campus twice for contaminants and they all came back negative

“The cafeteria water was sent from Boces. They had boiled it so that it could be safe to use”, stated Flemming. Signs were put up around the school to prevent water usage and as soon as the results were sent back as negative, signs were taken down. The water in all facilities on campus is still safe to use.