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Elk Creek hosts 9/11 remembrance
Firefighters, law enforcement and students joined together for a moment of silence Tuesday to remember those lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, on the Pentagon and those who perished in the plane crash in Pennsylvania.
Elk Creek High School hosted the ceremony to commemorate the 9/11 event that changed US history forever.
Vietnam veteran Dan Roach, with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1770 in Willows, was the keynote speaker.
The 71-year-old combat veteran said he was not an expert on the 9/11 tragedy, so he was surprised to be asked to speak.
However, he said he "was honored" to do it even though he felt the first responders at the ceremony were the ones to talk.
Eleven years ago, Roach said he stood at the top of the World Trade Center with a group of Boy Scouts a month before the attack.
He described the view as serene on the day he visited, but wondered what it would have been like for those in the building on that day.
Roach added what the students could take from the 9/11 attacks is that "things in life will happen that are emotional events."
Things like that are going to happen, he said, that "freeze time." He also asked the students to help the first responders like firefighters, police and paramedics if the can.
Learning to do first aid, becoming good swimmers and becoming participants in life can provide good skills, Roach said.
He noted combat veterans are good at estimating a situation, sizing up what they must deal with and pushing the fear aside.
If they are lucky enough to survive, they can then evaluate what worked and what did not, he said.
Student Body President Amanda Duck talked about the "Flag of Honor" and "Flag of Heroes" surrounding the podium.
She said the honor flag was for the people who died in the twin towers of the trade center and the passengers of Flight 93 that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania instead of hitting the White House while the heroes flag was for the first responders who died that day.
People from every background, color, ethnicity and religion died on Sept. 11 including people from 90 countries, Duck said.
Campus Supervisor Jeff Blade said the flags were loaned to the school by a local resident and are on display at the Stonyford Museum.
Also attending were Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones and Undersheriff Rich Warren, a representative from the Willows Police Department and firefighters from Cal-Fire, Indian Valley, Stonyford and Elk Creek Fire departments.
Students from Indian Valley and Elk Creek Elementary schools joined the high school and middle school students for the ceremony.
Elk Creek FFA members explained what the Pledge of Allegiance meant and an adult singer performed the National Anthem.
"It represents the people that gave their lives for us during 9-11," Sophomore Emily Murphy said. "They need to be remembered."
She and another FFA member, Shelby Carpenter, both participated in the ceremony this year.
"It is really nice to do this so the younger generation can remember," Carpenter said.
She was getting ready to go to kindergarten in 2001 when she and her mother saw the attack on TV, Carpenter said. It was scary, but being little she could not recall too much about it.
"I'm just honored to be invited to participate in the ceremony," Assistant Stonyford Fire Chief Sandy Corbin said. "It was a very tragic incident. I am glad they have days like this to remember it."
Firefighter Chase Walkup said he remembered a little bit of the attacks from television, but he was only 7 at the time.