ASGCC President Calls for Strength in Face of Tragedy

The following is the text of the speech given by Student Body President Dan Wengert at the Sept. 14 ceremony at Plaza Vaquero.

Students of Glendale Community College:

Today we have gathered in remembrance of the families and victims who have suffered and continue suffering great tragic losses.

The events that transpired Tuesday morning will live in our memories forever, as well they should. Until now, this is the defining moment of our generation. This is our Pearl Harbor. This is our JFK. As in times past, we will move on, but not at the expense of forgetting our fellow Americans.

Many questions remain unanswered: How could this happen? Who would do such a thing? Why aren?t we, as a nation, doing anything about it? I have confidence that the leadership of our nation will take the appropriate steps to bring to justice those who have wronged our fellow citizens, and I hope you can share my confidence.

Each one of us, in one way or another, has been affected by this tragedy. Three of the four airplanes that were involved in Tuesday?s tragedy were destined for Los Angeles. Some of you may have known somebody on one of those flights. So where do we begin the healing process, and what does the healing process include? That will be different for each one of us. I encourage students to talk about the events with each other, share your feelings and write them down. Find some way to release some of the energy that has been built up over the past few days by watching the news. Spend time with your families this weekend to mourn and heal.

Although it may be very difficult, as it is for me, we need to continue to study. Our education is a healthy diversion, although minute in comparison, for the losses we incurred on Tuesday.
Some students have asked what we, as the ASGCC, are going to do.

This week we cancelled our events. Next week we plan to resume the regular scheduled activities as we turn a page in the annals of American history. We do not want to give the indication that we?ve been defeated by this terrorism, but would rather show how united the United States can be. Please join us in our events next week as we will be celebrating independence, one of the core values of our country; one of the core values that was attacked on Tuesday morning.

As students here at GCC we must embrace the cultural diversity of our campus, a cultural diversity that sets us apart from other community colleges across the state. It is my hope and payer that we may be educated enough to understand that this is a tragedy that affects a broad spectrum of ethnicities and cultures. As we embrace our diversity, let GCC continue to set an example of cultural tolerance, acceptance and appreciation, as we work together and learn together to strengthen our community and ultimately our nation.

As we mourn the loss of many Americans I ask that the college respectfully honor a moment of silence on behalf of our friends in New York and Washington.

Thank you, and God bless America.