The school year had barely begun when Burbank students and
educators assembled in their schools throughout the district to pay
tribute to the people who died on Sept. 11, 2001.
Three poignant words, "God Bless America," appeared on the
Memorial Field scoreboard Wednesday at John Burroughs High School
while the American flag flew at half-staff.
Students filed onto the field and took their seats in the
bleachers. Senior Manny Silva said that even though the occasion was
a sad one, it was important to be there to honor the people who lost
"We'll get to reflect on Sept. 11," he said.
Sitting next to Manny, senior Yvette Dominguez said she was moved
by the patriotism in the community, but noted that it was sad that it
took this event to bring people together.
"I'm proud to be an American. It's important that I talk about it
because I'm American, even though I'm half Mexican," Yvette said.
Principal Emilio Urioste told the assembled group, "We, the people
of the United States of America, still stand united as a community
and a nation celebrating democracy in the land of the free and the
home of the brave."
After the national anthem was played by the school's marching band
and sung by the school choir, heads bowed as Urioste called for a
moment of silent reflection.
Local dignitaries, including Mayor David Laurell, school board
President Richard Raad, Police Chief Tom Hoefel and Fire Chief
Michael Davis, joined the assemblage on the field.
Other observances included Burbank High School with a moment of
silence at 9:04 a.m., followed by tributes from staff members.
At Washington Elementary School, students read the Gettysburg
address, while at Muir Middle School, students carried the flags from
their classrooms to the assembly on Mustang Field.