Retired Navy commander talks about brave souls lost (package)

Milton Hattem

Homero Arevalo, Staff Writer


The September 11 attacks 15 years ago on the twin towers in New York City was the cause of many American deaths.

On Sept 12, Vidal M. Trevino’s faculty and students, American veterans, and Laredo’s first responders united to commemorate the 2,996 lives that were lost and the over 6,000 that were injured.

“The American men and women in New York City: firefighters, emergency personnel, private individuals, headed into the falling twin towers,” guest speaker Navy Lt. Commander Douglass Alford said.

Alford talked about those brave first responders who ran head on to the towers to save others, instead of running away. They did what they had to do to ensure the well-being of others even if that meant putting their own lives on the line, he said.

“They did not hesitate. They went forward. They climbed the stairway knowing they probably would not come back,” he said.

Alford said those first responders knew what they were heading into. They risked their lives in order to save innocent civilians, he said.

The terrorist attacks did not just play an important role in the wars that were yet to come, but it played a huge role in the lives of people, students said.

“This ceremony meant something different to me than to other people. My dad is an Army veteran and the way he talks about events, it places things in a whole other perspective,” Jose Ugarte, a senior, said.

Ugarte said he has a close connection to this ceremony because his father was in the Army when these events took place. His father is a veteran and has had first-hand battle experience.

Andrea Garcia

“I was too young when this happened but I tend to place myself in the shoes of the people who lose loved ones. I can hardly imagine the pain they must have gone through,” Priscilla Garza, a senior, said.

Garza said that it must have been painful for those who lost people in the attacks.

“You did not need to suffer corporal damage to be a victim,” she said.