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Saugus High School remembers 9/11 with ceremony

Posted: September 9, 2011 11:31 a.m.
Updated: September 9, 2011 11:31 a.m.

Saugus High School students walk past 2,977 American flags that students placed central quad amphitheater at Saugus High.

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More than 2,500 Saugus High School students joined community leaders, Gold Star families and members of the Armed Forces on Friday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The 2,700 Saugus High students filled every bleacher of the school gymnasium and watched as a student-created video depicted the events of 9/11, including shots of United Flight 175 hitting the South Tower and former President George W. Bush's address to the nation about the terrorist attacks.

As the sound of the video played, students shook their heads while some wiped away tears and held onto classmates for comfort. Local families of fallen soldiers sat in chairs on the court with supporters whose eyes were affixed to the projector screens that hung from the gym ceiling.

The event was organized by Principal Bill Bolde and by the student government to honor the 2,977 victims and how their ordinary lives changed dramatically 10 years ago.

Saugus senior Melissa Morales recalled watching the events unfold on television with her mom before school. She was in second grade at the time and soon realized that America was under attack.

"It was just very quiet and sad everywhere I went," Morales, 17, said.

Saugus senior Kyle Mears remembered Sept. 11, but his mom only let him watch parts of what happened. It was only recently that he saw the images of the destruction.

"I didn't want to (see it)," he said. "I knew what had happened."

Shortly after Sept. 11, Mears was taking a trip to see his grandmother in the Midwest. He remembered the hours it took to get through airport security and says it's one of the most visible effects of Sept. 11 for his generation.

Through the assembly, the students hoped their peers would be reminded not only of the attacks in New York, but at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

"I want them to respect the people who were there to help us," Morales said.

The event included musical tributes by Saugus High band and choir students who performed songs like "God Bless America."

Bolde praised members of the Armed Forces, emergency responders and families of fallen soldiers for having courage and dedication to protecting America.

"Sometimes we take for granted what we have here," he said.

Bolde reflected on the local students who chose to enlist in the military and how they grew up just like any other student in the Santa Clarita Valley.

At the end of the ceremony, the Gold Star families gathered in the middle of the gym and were circled by community leaders who led a moment of silence.

Bolde asked the students to reflect on the lives lost during and after Sept. 11, 2001 as part of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Think about the amazing sacrifices that each individual gave to us so we can live here in freedom," Bolde said.

Throughout his speech, Bolde spoke about the effects of Sept. 11, 2001, but how it hasn't deterred the country from staying strong.

"We have issues, we have difficulties, we have economic challenges," Bolde said. "But through it all, I still believe there's no where better in this world."



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