Thursday, September 11, 2014

Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges honor victims of 9/11 attacks

Memorial ceremonies marking the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks will be held Thursday at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges with the planting of 2,977 American flags representing the victims and the reading of names for everyone who lost his or her life.

            The Associated Students of Grossmont College (ASGC) is sponsoring a Spirit of 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony and Name Reading in the Main Quad. The Name Reading is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. The Remembrance is set to start at 12:30 p.m. and will include comments from former Marine Sgt. And current ASGC President Rafael Navarrete, Grossmont College President Sunita (Sunny) Cooke, and Cindy Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

            The keynote speaker is Lt. Col. Douglas (Lucky) Luccio, deputy operations officer for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. Grossmont College student Javier Partida will be honored with the Spirit of 9/11 Award for scaring off an assailant who had targeted a fellow student, then escorting the victim to sheriff’s deputies at the college to report the crime.

            The Associated Student Government of Cuyamaca College and the Office of Student Affairs are remembering 9/11 by planting 2,977 flags on the Grand Lawn at the campus for a memorial beginning at 10:30 a.m. Speakers for the event include Cuyamaca College President Mark Zacovic; Col. John Farnham, commanding officer at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar; Mark Arabo, a spokesman for the Iraqi Chaldean community; Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Lannon; and state Sen. Joel Anderson. The San Miguel Fire Department will display its 70-foot flag beside the Grand Lawn during the event.   

            Associated Students at both colleges have teamed up to raise money for the 9/11 Memorial Museum at the site of the destroyed Twin Towers in Manhattan. Donations of $1 or more will be accepted at both colleges.

            Grossmont College is at 8800 Grossmont College Drive in El Cajon. Cuyamaca College is at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in El Cajon. Both events are free and open to the public.