Although they were only elementary school students when it happened, Sultana High School students gathered Friday before class to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.


"This year's ceremony is special," Cadet Group Commander Raina Vallicella told those assembled Friday morning, "as we mark the 10th anniversary of that day in 2001 when our country came under attack by the forces of international terrorism that claimed the lives of 3,000 American citizens."


The Junior Air Force ROTC color guard raised the US and California flags to half-mast as the school choir sang the national anthem.


"Since 9/11 and the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the United States has been engaged in a worldwide war on terror," Vallicella continued. "This war on terror has been costly as over 6,000 Americans have paid the ultimate price in defense of freedom. As Americans, whether we agree with the war or not, we must never forget the sacrifice our brave men and women have made overseas and here at home and especially, we must remember their families, for they have paid a heavy price, too."


Principal Larry Bird, Cadet 2nd Lt. Louie Poreider and representatives from Sultana's student government laid a commemorative wreath at the school's flagpole, followed by a moment of silence.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.