Pheffer Amato Honors Late Midshipman Justin B. Zemser

June 6, 2017

This past Saturday, June 3rd, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach) helped inaugurate the Justin B. Zemser Memorial Tree at Channel View High School, the late Midshipman’s alma mater. The tree was dedicated with a memorial football game. Zemser was a 20-year-old cadet at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland when he headed home for a holiday visit in 2015 on an Amtrak train. The train derailed, killing Zemser and four others.

“Justin was a fantastic student, a wonderful young man, and he seemed well on his way to achieving his dream of becoming a NAVY Seal,” said Pheffer Amato. “As a paraprofessional at a nearby school, I knew Justin’s family, and I knew how beloved he was. His death was a tragic and senseless loss for our community.

“But Justin’s spirit is still with us,” Pheffer Amato continued, “and I know this memorial will bring comfort to his family and inspire generations of students at Channel View. Justin represented the best of what any of us can hope to achieve. His selfless and outgoing way is a wonderful symbol of character for students to see every day, as they move forward in their own journeys.”