By Caleb Lunetta
Signal Senior Staff Writer
In honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Santa Clarita Valley schools, families and community leaders participated in remembrance events at their respective campuses on Friday.
While flanked by patriotic displays and standing before groups of students — who notably had not yet been born when the coordinated terrorist attack killed 2,977 people on American soil — many of the day’s speakers emphasized the importance for future generations continuing on with the annual remembrances.
“We saw those images real time, it was all just so hard to believe, we thought it was make believe, we thought it was something out of a movie (and) that this couldn’t possibly be happening to us,” said Rep. Mike Garcia during his address at Trinity Classical Academy Friday morning. “And so, 20 years later, as we are still fighting this global war on terror, it is imperative that we don’t forget, because about a quarter of our population wasn’t even alive when 9/11 happened.”
In Castaic, Northlake Hills Elementary held a 15-minute ceremony for students to meet with active-military members under the flagpole, as well as present them with their “Patriot Day” thank you cards.
In Newhall, Our Lady of Perpetual Help’s 20-minute ceremony on Friday invited more than 300 students outside to participate in a flag raising, songs and other patriotic activities. Students then watched a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department flyover and met with a Los Angeles Police Department mounted unit.
“Our Lady of Perpetual Help School’s students led a very emotional and heartfelt celebration commemorating not only the first responders of 9/11, but for all those who continue to sacrifice to make communities better,” OLPH Business Manager Gloria Regan said in a prepared statement. “There was mounted police, a helicopter flyover, city and county firefighters, armed forces personnel, and many sheriffs, police, nurses and doctors in attendance. The student’s showed their gratitude through song and by offering small handmade gifts to all who were there.”
And on the other end of the SCV, students of Saugus High School placed 2,977 American flags in front of their campus to honor and remember the victims of 9/11.
Toward the end of his speech, Garcia thanked the Trinity student organization that organized Friday’s event, saying the next generation should remember the tragedies the country has suffered, but also take pride in how it has prevailed.
“As hard as all of that is to believe in, as evil as our adversaries are,” said Garcia, becoming now emotional, “we are part of the best experiment that this globe has ever seen in the form of the United States of America.”
“This is also hard to believe but this is the glorious nation that we all love, it still is, it always will be,” said Garcia. “We just can’t forget. We will never forget.”