Malibu remembers those lost in 9/11 tragedies


In addition to a national moment of silence, candlelit vigils will take place locally and Pepperdine University will dedicate its Heroes Garden.

By Lisa DuMouchel/Special to The Malibu Times

On the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. Congress last year designated 9/11 as National Patriot Day in honor of the victims and the heroic sacrifices of our firefighters, rescue and law enforcement personnel, and private citizens on that tragic day.

“Heroes can give their lives all at one time, or they can give a little each day,” said Deena Burnett, in a media release from Pepperdine University that describes Heroes Garden.

Her husband, Thomas E. Burnett Jr., a Pepperdine alumnus, died fighting terrorist hijackers who took over United Airlines flight 93,The terrorist attacks of 9/11 did more than spark fear in Americans. Those events also re-lit the flame of community service in the American spirit. In the days and weeks following 9/11, private citizens flooded Manhattan and Washington, D.C. to volunteer any way needed. In fact, so many people showed up to attack sites that willing volunteers were sent home.

Locally, schools, churches and public institutions will mark the tragic day with memorials and dedications.

Malibu High School will utilize Sept. 11 to inspire and support community service in students. Principal Mike Mathews explained, “We are looking to turn a day of tragedy into a means of getting something good done in the world.”

Juan Cabrillo Elementary School is encouraging students to wear red, white and blue. Pat Cairns, Principal of Juan Cabrillo Elementary, said, “It is important for children to learn at an early age it is not always about receiving, but also giving back to their community. It helps them to become good and powerful citizens.”

A national moment of silence will be marked at 8:46 a.m. eastern daylight time to honor the innocent victims who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks. Flags across the nation will be flown at half-mast.

On Sept. 11, Malibu residents will continue to mourn the lives of two community members who died in the terrorist attacks. Thomas Burnett Jr. and Local Topanga Canyon resident Thomas Pecorelli, who perished as a passenger of the plane that plunged into the North Tower.

Malibu United Methodist Church is holding a Candlelight Labyrinth Walk through its gardens on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.

Malibu Fire Station No. 70, as well as fire stations across Los Angeles County, will be holding a brief public ceremony at 10 a.m.

“We will be reading the names of firefighters who died. The fire stations divide up names so that everyone’s name will be read and no one is forgotten. It’s important to remember those who died in service for their families,” said Captain Steve Schwaiger.

Pepperdine University will be dedicating the 14,880 square-foot Heroes Garden to honor those who sacrificed their lives on that fateful day.

“It is Pepperdine’s desire to help us all, especially future generations, to remember the events of 9/11,” said Andrew K. Benton, Pepperdine University president.

The commemorative garden will be open to the public as of 1 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2003.

The Santa Monica Interfaith Council will host a candle light vigil to remember Sept. 11 on the Third Street Promenade. Spiritual and musical reflections will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the candlelight vigil at 6:30 p.m.