VMT honors victims during Patriot Day Ceremony


The Magnet Tribune: Fernando Martinez

Special guests bow their heads during the invocation at VMT’s Patriot Day Ceremony

Fernando Martinez & Jackie Cheung, Staff Writers


On Sept. 11, Vidal M. Treviño School of Communications and Fine Arts held a ceremony honoring the victims and first responders affected by the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Guests reflected on the tragic event and paid their respects to the victims that lost their lives.

Most students were not born when the attacks happened 18 years ago, but they participated by listening to the 10 bells, one for every 300 people that passed away, and America the Beautiful, by the VMT Philharmonic. 

“It’s really important for everybody to know especially these younger—you know your age students, this was 18 years ago, so most of you are not even 18 or you all were just being born,” Webb County Judge Tano Tijerina said.

Roberto Villarreal, Laredo Independent School District chief of police, said the attacks did not affect his career, but made him more knowledgeable and aware that America is not free. Villarreal added that he is aware of the people who want to harm the nation.

Douglas Alford, United States Navy veteran, said the country is relaxed and should be more vigilant of its surroundings “because we never know what’s going to happen from one minute to the next.”

Alford said he is satisfied with the way the nation handled the situation.

“The United States dealt with this terrorist attack exactly how they should. We stood up, made it aware that we’re not going to take this; we’re not going to stand down; we are going to go after the perpetrators of this deal wherever, whenever we can, and we did,” he said. “We went after them, we got them, we had a leader who stepped up and announced to the world that these people did not have a safe haven. The ones that originated this, wherever they were, they were going to be recovered and that’s what happened; we got to show a solid front for the world to see, otherwise we would appear to be weak, and we are not weak.”

Vietnam Veteran Jesus Segovia recalled he was having coffee with a group of veterans in a restaurant on McPherson Rd when they saw one of the planes fly into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, and approximately 20 minutes later they saw the second plane crash into the South Tower.

That’s when we said, ‘Hey, this is a declaration of war,’” Segovia said. “We stayed there watching TV until the buildings were collapsed. It was a horrible feeling; a feeling you can’t explain when you see something like that as it’s happening in the moment. It’s really hard to understand why they would do something like that.”

Tijerina said he was getting a haircut at Frank’s Barber Shop on Clark Blvd while the attack was happening. 

“It’s amazing how you can remember these kind of things and I remembered watching it, and it was a very sad, sad moment happening,” Tijerina said. 

Tijerina added that the attack is a double edged sword because many lives were lost but it brought the U.S. together.

“There was a lot of good things that happened to it, the world came together, the United States especially came together extremely strong. People found, more important, they realized that today you’re here, tomorrow you’re gone; you just never know. So it brought an awareness, I think, to the United States that actually brought us closer together,” he said.