Saddleback and IVC commemorate 9/11

(Sean Lara)

Sarah Black

Saddleback and Irvine Valley College commemorated 9/11 in separate ceremonies at each last week.

With a big American flag hanging on stage and blue and white stars projected onto the wall, Irvine Valley held its ninth-annual event. The theme of the ceremony was “never forget” and it was repeated over and over again.

Several dignitaries gave inspiring speeches regarding.  Touching on how staying together as a community would be helpful for everyone and as Don Wagner, board president, opened with “9/11 is all about dedicated and selfless military service people, police, and fire departments. Heartfelt thanks to all the men and women in uniforms.”  Later a pledge of allegiance was lead by Marcia Milchiker, Trustee, along with the color guard, followed by a song for all the fallen men and women of 9/11.

The ceremony also pointed out that the fallen men and women weren’t the only heroes, the current firefighters, police, and paramedics also put their life on the line for the greater good. The speakers sought to inspire everyone by saying that “a hero is no braver than an ordinary man but he is brave 5 minutes longer,” bringing up Flight 93 where normal people did heroic things when needed to, as well as in Times Square when the street vendors did heroic things when needed to. They showed that everyone can be heroic.            

There was a moment of silence held by IVC President Glenn Roquemore for the fallen men and women of the twin towers followed up by “God Bless America” sung by instructor Matthew Tresler.  

“There will always be two Americas: the one before 9/11 and the one after,” Jeff Gilber said. There were many brave people in the twin towers 9 years ago: everyday heroes and all the fallen.

Saddleback’s commemoration of 9/11 was held to honor the victims and first responders of the event in front of the Saddleback College Veterans Memorial September 11, 2010.

“September 11th is a day that will be forever in our hearts and minds,” said Saddleback College President Tod Burnett. “Friday’s somber ceremony is a time to reflect on the heroism of our first responders and the commitment of the American people to unite and rebuild after an act of terrorism that sought to break the American spirit, but failed.”

The first to speak was Jack Williams IV, a USMC veteran who served in Iraq, said the events that marked 9/11 “fundamentally altered the course of my life.” After serving in the military he was able to recognize “that our nation is not naturally invulnerable.” Americans need to support those who sacrifice their lives in order to protect the country, he said.

Featured guest Chief rick Robinson from the Orange County Fire Authority said, “Seeing those three firefighters raise a flag on the site of the world trader towers is an iconic memory for me. That day reminded me that heroes will arise unexpectedly in the face of dangers.”

A the end, Saddleback College student, Trevor Drury, A rendition of “America the Beautiful” was sung by Saddleback College student, Trevor Drury, which followed a moment of silence when a wreath was laid at the veterans memorial by President Burnett, Chief Robinson, Williams, Saddleback Police Officer Santos Garcia and Academic Senate President Carmen Dominguez.