Fiftteen years ago on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, terror groups hijacked four planes in a coordinated terrorist attack. Two planes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City, a third plane flew into the Pentagon building in Washington, D.C., and the final plane was brought down by passengers in a field in Pennsylvania. Thousands of people died in the attacks, including civilians, military personnel in the Pentagon and the emergency fire fighters, police and medical workers who arrived at the scene.
The attack had a profound impact on the United States and the rest of the world. The U.S. Congress designated Sept. 11 as “Patriot Day” to remember and honor those who died. On this day, flags are set to half-staff and many observe a moment of silence at 8:46am, the time when the first plane hit the Twin Towers.
To commemorate 9/11 or Patriot Day, the students from grade levels third to eighth grade were presented with lectures and did prayer services to honor local residents who are involved in any way during and after the terrorist attacks.
The students were graced by the presence of U.S. Army veteran and San Francisco de Borja Parish Council chair Edward C. Barcinas.
Barcinas spoke to the students about his role after the 9/11 attacks.
“I was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq to fight the war on terror,” said Barcinas.
“I was upset because our country was attacked and we need to stop this terrorist from hurting innocent people,” added Barcinas.
“These week our students are learning history and are honoring the men and women who died on September 11th, and the men and women serving in the armed forces, and to honor their families for the grace and the dignity they have demonstrated throughout these fifthteen years,” said administrator and principal Carmen H. Atalig.
“I thank chairman [Ed] Baricnas for coming and talking to the students about his participation in the 9/11 events,” added Atalig.
“It is very important we always remember the significance of their acts of courage and sacrifice,” said student body council president Jeremy John Atalig II.
“I salute our military heroes in our Rota Catholic faith community like my uncle TJ Atalig, Edward Barcinas, and our teacher [Mr. Ed] Edward Maratita Jr.,” added Atalig II.
“Fifteen years ago, we watched as a horrific tragedy unfolded before us. Our world had changed forever, and the future seemed uncertain. Borders are now secured than ever. Yet, despite all the chaos of 9/11, one thing was clear, no act of violence can ever break the will and unity of the American people. Instead, we came together as one nation and fight the war on terror,” said board chair Edward Maratita Jr.
Maratita also stated, “In commemorating 9/11, let us hold our loved ones closer, remember all those we lost, and reflect on the values at the core of our culture and customs as one family.”
The administration, faculty, staff, and board of directors would like to extend their appreciation to chair Edward C. Barcinas.