By Mayor Marsha McLean
It only took 16 seconds to shatter our community’s sense of safety.
The time it will take for parents not to worry about their kids every morning when they send them off to school will take much, much longer.
The time it will take for Saugus High School students to walk through the quad and not feel the fear, panic and heartache will take much, much longer. The time it will take for our community to heal from this tragedy will take much, much longer.
But we will.
We, as a City and a community, will not be defined by what occurred during those 16 seconds. Instead, we will be defined as a community that rallied around the families who lost children and a community who sent support and love to those whose children were injured. We will be the community that wrapped their arms around those hurting and gathered nearly 15,000 strong last weekend to cry together, grieve together and begin to heal together.
We are a safe, family-oriented and extremely tightknit community. Santa Clarita has some of the most dedicated, hardworking first responders who are protecting us every single day. The men and women of our Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, Los Angeles County Fire Department, California Highway Patrol and other first responders arrived on scene at Saugus High School to render aid in mere minutes.
But they weren’t alone.
As Santa Clarita Detective Dan Finn ran toward the scene of the shooting, while hundreds of students were running away from danger, he was joined by an LAPD officer and an Inglewood Police Officer who were there dropping off their children. We are a community of first responders. Our neighbors wear badges from public safety organizations throughout the southland. That is because those who keep the peace, know where to find the peace; in our family-first City of Santa Clarita.
Saugus High School is an incredible educational facility that has decades of proud alumni who are thriving in our community, across the country and working within our City organization. Saugus High School and our City will not be defined by what happened within those 16 seconds.
As students and faculty are still trying to come to grips with this tragedy, I want each and every one of you to know that the community stands united behind you. Local businesses, families, and organizations have donated items, posted messages of support, painted banners and tied blue ribbons from trees and fences.
It will take time for things to feel normal again, but it will. Even as time passes, we will not forget the beautiful young lives lost. They will remain on our minds, in our thoughts and will live on in our hearts. We are Santa Clarita and we are Saugus Strong!
Mayor Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]
santa-clarita.com. The views expressed in her column are those of the city and do not necessarily reflect those of The Signal.