Veterans Association Remembers 9/11

"Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it." On September 11, the Student Veterans Association had an event in Santa Monica College to remember the victims of the tragedy that befell the U.S. on that date in 2001.

But this day, as Francisco Cortez, president of the Student Veterans Association said "Today is not and should not be about war not politics rather it should about remembering, remembering those who perished in that fateful day and how our nation found the strength within to face this tragedy."

The Veterans Association is a declared "non-political" club that offers support for veterans as well as the troops by sending care packages to troops and raise military awareness on campus.

The event took place at the Clock tower, where people were greeted with what could be described as ultra-patriotic us-against-them pro-America propaganda music.

The event started with the national anthem introduced by ICC Chair Roxanne Mauserat. The small crowd of about 50, most of them above 30, included members of the faculty, student veterans and Associated Students members, and a few students.

A prayer for all the victims of 9/11 followed. Mauserat then talked about what happened on that day seven years ago, where she was, and how a relative going for an interview at the Twin Towers survived by mere chance. "I would like to commemorate and recognize this gathering for all those who have fallen on Sept. 11, 2001, and for the families that suffered on this tragic day."

Cortez then took the microphone. "When I ask people what comes to mind when they think about 9/11, some begin saying it was the beginning of an unjustified war," he continued. "Yet it shocks me how few people do in fact remember how hard this tragic event rocked this nation."

His speech had a lot of emotion, recounting how he was a "young paratrooper" when he got the news, and always expressing his undying love for this country.

SVA member and Student Trustee Cameron Henton followed Cortez recalling the events of that day, and reiterated, "This is not about the politics that led to Sept. 11... This loss of life must always be remembered. It's our patriotic duty to remember it. And it's our duty to honor the fallen, for those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it."

As the microphone opened for members of the audience to come up and share their stories, A.S. Vice President Jafet Santiago showed his patriotism by waving a small flag, as many had done before after 9/11, sharing his experiences.

SMC librarian Brenda Antrim, who lost a cousin at the Pentagon, gave the most heartfelt speech:

" believe that in every tragedy there is the hope for tomorrow, there's the hope for something good for something human and something connected to come out of that and when I hear on the news on the radio, on CNN the service people that we're losing and the civilians that are being hurt and maimed I think the tragedy goes on and so does the hope so does that connection and there'll be a tomorrow thanks to that sacrifice and there is a connection."