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Piti students and faculty pay tribute to 9/11

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Hundreds of students and faculty in Piti at Jose Rios Middle School paid tribute to 9/11 today through a commemorative ceremony at the school gym.

They weren't even born when the tragic 9/11 terror attacks shook the course of US history, but 16 years later and hundreds of students paid tribute to our nation's fallen heroes through musical performances, interpretive dance and even poetry.

Eighth grade counselor Leeana Borja kicked off today's commemorative ceremony by sharing her memories of September 11th while living in the nation's capital, just minutes from the Pentagon. "And before I could wrap my head around what exactly was happening, I literally saw on TV the second plane crash straight into the south tower the second tower," she said.

Borja recalled the city going into lock down and a bomb scare at her school - American University - just one day later. "I remember the fear that I had, and thinking, 'is this it? am I gonna die today?" she remembered.

However, her message to students was to cherish life. Students Haane Maritita and Christine Leon Guerrero shared their thoughts through poetry "I wasn't there, I wasn't even born yet, but I can feel the pain the people felt when the mission the terrorists was set," Maratita announced. "The first plane hit and it pierced the first tower, in spite of their pain they stood strong and turned their fear into power."

Leon Guerrero added, "People were scared of what would happen next, they were trying to reach their loved ones by call or by text - now every day on 9/11, we honor those who are in heaven, especially the police men and firefighters who helped, who lost their lives for everyone else."

Meanwhile, student Gabriella Fernandez highlighted a story of heroism that took place on United Flight 93. "They knew that their lives perhaps could be lost, they felt that our freedom would be worth the cost," she said. "They said a few prayers, looked deep in their souls, they charged attackers on the signal 'let's roll' - they struggled and fought as the plane took a dive, they crashed in a field where no one survived. To this day we remember their courage and heart, in fighting for freedom they all played a part."

Local military personnel and first responders were also honored at today's event, which ended with a wall of heroes presentation.

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