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Orange County

New Meaning for Tragic Day

An elementary school, volunteers are inspired to make Sept. 11 a time for positive action. Local events offer various ways of commemoration.

September 10, 2003|Dave McKibben and Jessica Zuchero | Times Staff Writers

With the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks coming up, the question for many civic organizations and educators in Orange County was whether to commemorate the day by looking back -- or forward.

When it came to children, the decision at Del Obispo Elementary School in San Juan Capistrano was to look ahead and to mark Thursday with "acts of volunteerism."

Principal Faith Morris said the idea was inspired by One Day's Pay, a New York-based group of families and friends of Sept. 11 victims that is urging Americans to transform the date of the terrorist hijackings into a volunteer day of charity.

"I love the idea of changing this from something sad to something positive," Morris said. "Every year we'll have fewer and fewer kids who will remember what happened that day."

Morris said each class at Del Obispo will set aside time Thursday to help others in ways chosen by the students. A fifth-grade class will buy shaving kits filled with combs, toothbrushes and shampoo to distribute at a nearby homeless shelter. A fourth-grade class will write notes to a local family that lost a son in Iraq.

"The idea is you can still do something nice for somebody no matter how limited your resources may be," Morris said.

Other Sept. 11 commemorative events Thursday:

* Huntington Beach: Candlelight vigil sponsored by Be the Cause, 7 to 8 p.m. Huntington State Beach at Warner Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway.

* Laguna Hills: Dedication of a six-sided "peace pole" that reflects the commitment to peace around the world, 1:30 p.m. main lobby at Sunrise Villa Valencia, 24552 Paseo De Valencia. (949) 581-6111.

* Newport Beach: Memorial service, noon to 12:30 p.m. St. James Episcopal Church, 3209 Via Lido. (949) 675-0210.

* Rancho Santa Margarita: Pancake breakfast given by Physicians Resource Medical Equipment Inc., 7 to 9 a.m., for emergency personnel and surviving kin of Sept. 11. 30242 Esperanza. (949) 888-3904.

* Tustin: The Millennium Exchange Club of Orange County's dedication of a "freedom shrine" at Tustin City Hall, noon.

* Santa Ana: Tribute to Santa Ana firefighters, police officers and Sept. 11 victims by the Westend COP Neighborhood Assn., 11 to 11:45 a.m. Santa Ana Police Department, 60 Civic Center Plaza.

* Countywide: Ceremony by the Orange County Fire Authority at each of its 60 fire stations to honor Sept. 11 victims, 8:46 a.m. Among the sites are the Fire Authority headquarters at 180 S. Water St. in Orange.

* Fullerton: Memorial service, by the Fullerton Firefighters' Assn., in honor of New York City firefighters killed at the World Trade Center, 6 a.m. to midnight, 908 N. Harbor Blvd.

Other related Sept. 11 events:

* Today, Laguna Niguel: A community forum, "Circles of Hope: Life Since 9/11/01," 7 to 9:30 p.m., Sea Country Senior and Community Senior, 24602 Aliso Creek Road, Laguna Niguel. (949) 661-3087.

* Friday through Sunday, Fullerton: Conference for Unity and Peace at Cal State Fullerton, featuring spiritual leaders, scholars, authors, and activists. (714) 278-2414.

* Sept. 20, Orange: Peace Jam-N-Walk, celebrating the U.N. International Day of Peace, 1 to 5 p.m. Chapman University in Orange. (714) 542-9743.

* Sept. 20, Huntington Beach: Walk for Hope, benefiting international relief organizations, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Huntington Beach Pier.

* Sept. 21, Orange: International Day of Peace Interfaith Prayer Service, 7 to 8 p.m. Sisters of St. Joseph Chapel, 480 S. Batavia in Orange. (714) 771-2901.

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