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Schools Battle on the Gridiron, Come Together to Remember 9/11

Members of the military and local first responders are honored Sept. 8. Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadets from Sand Creek High School and Vista Ridge High School joined together Sept. 8 to remember the anniversary of 9/11 and honor first responders prior to a football game between the two schools.

“It was good to know we were showing our appreciation to all military and first responders,” said Cadet Master Sergeant Ivan Manriquez, 16, a SCHS junior. “We wanted to recognize those also who specifically joined during that time.”

A uniformed member of the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps were recognized next to a Colorado Springs Police Department Officer and an American Medical Response team.

“These men and women make a selfless choice to represent and fight for our country,” said Ivan. “We did what we could to show our support, appreciation and recognize those who serve our country and community.”

More than two dozen cadets presented and waved a large United States flag, presented flags for each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and honored local first responders in front of hundreds of students and fans of the two District 49 schools.

AFJROTC cadets salute during the National Anthem Sept. 8.  Flags representing each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces Sept. 8.  Football officials place their hand over their heart during the National Anthem Sept. 8.

"This was a good opportunity to remember 9/11 and pay respect to all of our military service members and first responders,” said SCHS AFJROTC Instructor Chief Master Sergeant (Retired) Benjamin Brown, who was stationed at Peterson AFB in the combined intelligence center on Sept. 11, 2001. “We wanted people to know that we still remember after 16 years.”

“It was great to see that two rival schools could come together to support our veterans and first responders too.”

Matt Meister