By Abby Palopoli, Contributing student writer, Clarion Herald
On Sept. 11, St. Scholastica Academy (SSA) honored local heroes to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
St. Scholastica’s volleyball team invited active military, veterans and first responders to the junior varsity and varsity Appreciation Matches, where the school community recognized and thanked St. Tammany Parish service members.
Head coach Peter Bertucci organized this first-time event, which will become a new SSA tradition.
Coach Bertucci felt it was necessary to preserve the memory of Sept. 11 because the majority of our students were not yet born or were too young to remember the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
I was only 11 months old the day my parents and millions of others around the world gasped at the news on TV. People everywhere felt the fear and pain of that day in American history.
Coach Bertucci shared his experience of watching the events unfold: “It was a numb feeling. The biggest concern was what was going to happen to the world after this.”
After Coach Bertucci and Covington Mayor Mike Cooper welcomed and thanked those in attendance, senior members of the SSA Color Guard conducted a presentation of the flags, while students Elise Falkenstein and Abbey Aldridge sang the national anthem. Before the Doves played Sacred Heart, Color Guard captain Brenna Spell and Sgt. Major Miranda Peck gave short introductions for each service member in attendance.
“First responders run to the danger when we run from it. They need all the respect they can get,” said Coach Bertucci on the importance of recognizing these service members in our community.
Senior volleyball player Anna Champ added, “It’s important to honor them because they risk their lives every day in pursuit of safety and the betterment of our community. Among all of the media today, it’s important to look past the politics and see their selfless duties and their mission to do good, which is something many don’t recognize enough.”
As a community united in prayer and thanksgiving, St. Scholastica Academy honored the men and women who serve today as we continue to honor those who served during the tragic events in 2001.