By Nathaniel Mata
Texas Southmost College
The red, white, and blue was displayed prominently on Friday morning as Texas Southmost College welcomed guests from on-campus and beyond to remember, honor, and reflect on the events and impact of September 11, 2001.
Honor Guard students from La Feria High School marched in unison and brought the Texas and American flag ‘colors’ to the stage.
Speeches were made by TSC President Dr. Jesus Rodriguez and Brownsville Chief of Police and TSC alumni Mr. Felix Sauceda.
In Chief’s Sauceda speech he brought forward specific numbers of first responders, military, and civilians that were lost in the attacks and the aftermath. He also mentioned the thousands of survivors that battled cancer following their heroic efforts.
“I made reference to some specific numbers because imagine those 3,000 plus kids that grew up having lost a parent,” Chief Sauceda said. “Imagine how intimate this day is to him or her. It’s things that remind us that we can never forget. I always take it as a calling, it’s our duty and our responsibility to turn it into a commitment to always remember and not let that day define who we are as a nation.”
Dr. Rodriguez made remarks about how the solemn day in 2001 was painful and stressful and invoked anxiety throughout the nation but it also marked a turning point.
The President spoke of the courage and strength Americans showed during times of uncertainty and anxiety. Dr. Rodriguez also called on the TSC community to find ways to volunteer on the Fort Brown Campus or in the greater Brownsville area.
Students from La Feria High School brought in both flags. Joe Sanchez serves as assistant director of Honor Guard alongside director Carlos Ramon. The La Feria HS honor guard consists of Isabella Rodriguez, Jacquelin Leija, Jamie Gonzalez and Ashlyn Garza.
“It means a lot that TSC did invite us here,” Sanchez said. “We’re a small school and it means a lot to our Honor Guard. It makes them feel great and that all the practice they go through is meant for something special like this.”
It was acknowledged that at this point high schoolers and even college students might have been born after the attacks of 9/11.
“Even though they weren’t born,” Sanchez said. “You can see in their faces that they’re paying attention and it hits home, their parents have told them as well. They feel emotional as well.”
Texas Southmost College music instructor Victor Martinez played TAPS following a moment of silence.
Brownsville’s Police Chief told the story about he remembers the September day in 2001 while he was a TSC student.
Mr. Sauceda spoke about his pride coming back to his alma mater, TSC, during such a meaningful event.
“It’s my honor,” Chief Sauceda said. “Any time and every time I can do something more personal, more intimate for my community, I’m there. Our community is No. 1. It’s great to be able to invest in our future and show them ‘looks it’s possible, I was there with you all, I was there in that chair’ years ago. If I could do it, you all could most definitely do it.”
Students who want to volunteer or join a club can visit the Office of Student Life or contact student services specialist Bryanna Woodman [email protected] .