Red, White, and Blue Day (9/11 Remembrance)


Madison McGinty

Julien Pineda, Sophomore Cadet Corp member and Commander of the Color Guard, holds the American Flag for the National Anthem during the first Red, White, and Blue Day (September 11, 2019). Red, White, and Blue day was held on the field.

Caitlynn Kelley, Journalist

September 11, 2001 is a day forgotten by few and remembered by many. Two planes were hijacked by Al-Qaeda and crashed into the World Trade Center. Another plane crashed into the Pentagon, and a plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  This year on September 11, 2019, we remembered those who died during the attacks and those who risked their lives to save others from being killed. This is the 1st year that our school commemorated 9/11 with an event: Red, White, and Blue Day.

Starting off with a fire drill, everyone made their way to line up with their teachers on the upper field. Senior Yusra Oda, ASB President, introduced everyone to the event, supervised, and worked behind the scenes to make sure that everyone was doing what needed to be done to make the event a successful one. When asked how her group showed their feelings about 9/11, she stated, “Well, we had a speech spoken in a way to where we could touch on everyone else’s feelings, so we put our feelings out there to talk to everyone else.”

Following the attacks, there followed an anger that targeted Oda and her family. “9/11 severely affected my family because they were really hated due to our religion back then. Wherever they went, everyone was just yelling at them, cussing at them, doing really horrible things because that’s just what people do; they blame it on whoever they see first, even if you never had anything to do with it. You still get hate for it. I wasn’t really affected because I wasn’t born yet, but I still get affected ’till this day because everyday that it happens, just people don’t act really nice.”

After Yusra Oda introduced everyone, Senior Cameron Quijada, ASB and Wind Ensemble member, was the first person to speak at the event. She also helped to put up  the decorations and played in Wind Ensemble. Even though she was one of the first to speak, she knew her emotions were far different from those who lived through the 9/111 attacks. “It’s kind of hard to show feelings for something you weren’t born for. So, obviously, they were very respectful of the day, but they had no direct emotion towards it, since we weren’t born.” She provided a sharp contrast to other emotional responses. However, the event didn’t hit her family very hard. She responded,”Economically, I don’t think there was any emotional attachment to it.”

Following Quijada’s speech at the event, Junior Kage Blakeney and Cadet Corp member, spoke about the tragic events of 9/11 and how the American spirit still persists even through tragic moments, such as 9/11. This is one of the most potent quotes from his speech, where he talks about how Americans are strongly bonded because of our unity in the belief that we are Americans. “They may attack us, they may attempt to break our very way of life, they may do what they will, but they will never win. No matter our race, our religion, our social standing, who or what we are, where we are from, or who we will be, there is one thing we will always be: American. And there is nothing that anyone can do, to take that away from us.” There was a moment of silence, ushered in by Yusra Oda, and then the folding of the flags was done by Cadet Corp members.

Senior Katrina Gilbert, the highest ranking Cadet Corp member, helped set up the event by getting all of the cadets organized and ready to perform their specific duties. When asked about how her group showed their emotions about 9/11, she said, “We showed deep respect and patriotic feeling because we are a military-based group, we do promote patriotism for America. I believed we showed a deep respect and remembrance of the event.” For Gilbert, the events resonate deeply with her and her family. “It affected my family because my dad actually had to deploy after 9/11 had happened. My grandfather was one of the police officers who responded to 9/11 and he has issues from it today. My father got to the point where he was front in the Marine Corp in Iraq for four years after 9/11 because of the situations that have happened on our war against terrorism.”

Presenting the flags for ceremonial purposes, Sophomore Julien Pineda and Cadet Corp member (Commander of the Color Guard) played a both important roles for both ASB and Cadet Corp. “For ASB, I played kind of played a major role. Our ASB adviser said, ‘You could be head of the whole project.’ For Cadet Corp, I didn’t play a major role, only for the Color Guard, since I was a Color Guard Commander.”

The 9/11 attacks touched the families of many different ways, some more than others. However, even if you were affected or not, we all stand together in unison in support of those who lost their lives.  Red, White, and Blue Day reminds us of why we commemorate this fateful day. We commemorate it, so those who lost their lives will not be forgotten and for an incident like this may never happen again.