Shepard JROTC continues 9/11 remembrance tradition

salute photo 9 17
Photo by Kelly White
U.S. Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) at Shepard High School held a 9-11 Remembrance at the school, 13049 S. Ridgeland Ave., Palos Heights, on Friday morning. The event gave both students and staff time to recognize and reflect on the day’s magnitude.
By Kelly White
The school year may look and feel different, but local students are taking pride in keeping tradition alive.
For the fifth year in a row, the U.S. Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) at Shepard High School held a 9-11 Remembrance Friday morning at the school, 13049 S. Ridgeland Ave., Palos Heights.
The event gave both students and staff time to recognize and reflect on the day’s magnitude.
“Although I wasn’t alive during 9/11, I was taught about the unifying effect it had on our country,” said Camiron Witkowski, 15, of Worth. “This ceremony allows cadets to experience some of that unity by coming together in remembrance of that tragic day. It is one of many unique experiences from the program that instills discipline and respect.”
The community could not witness the tribute in person this year but the school’s television studio filmed and live streamed the event on Facebook, making it accessible to all faculty and staff.
“Even with the pandemic and remote learning and so much going on in society that drives us apart, it is all the more reason to stay true to our traditions,” said Jodi Jasmin Pelini , digital media teacher at Shepard and Eisenhower high schools. “ We just can’t let people forget what happened on Sept. 11. We need to remind people that back then —in the face of enormous loss and fear — we were united as a nation.”
Pelini still remembers where she was when the twin towers were hit.
“I was teaching television production at Gordon Tech High School in Chicago at the time,” Pelini said. “ I watched the events unfold on live TV with my class back then, obviously not knowing at the time what was going on. The first time that I witnessed Shepard’s 9/11 tribute years later, I was simply awestruck by how powerfully moving it was. To have a ceremony every year to commemorate all those lives lost, it makes it real for our students, all of whom were born after that tragic day. On the one hand, the tribute makes them reflect on the loss and at the same time, it instills a sense of patriotism and pride.”
The school has been honoring 9-11 for the past decade, according to Shepard staff. However, the JROTC has taken over the remembrance ceremony for the past five years.
The JROTC is a program offered to high schools that teaches students character education, student achievement, wellness, leadership and diversity. The 110 students in the program under the guidance of Major Dan Johnson, Master Sergeant Chris Saberniak, and Cadet Jocelyn Anaya, Cadet Corps Commander, were responsible for the organization of the event.
Shepard has won a Distinguished Unit Award from the USAF the past several years, and the remembrance exemplifies the spirit of service that runs through the school’s JROTC program, school officials said.
“ Every year Major (Dan) Johnson and Master Sergeant (Chris) Saberniak and their JROTC students thoughtfully make time to remember the victims and first responders from that terrible day,” said Bob McParland , public information specialist for Community High School District 218. “This helps our students, none of whom were born in 2001, to further understand how the terrorist attacks affected the nation by sharing their personal memories of that day.”
“This is an event the cadets look forward to every year,” Johnson said. “I think they really benefit from connecting in a positive way to a significant event that didn’t even happen in their lifetime.”
While Shepard’s school year is being held remotely, Friday’s memorial was held in-person while adhering to social distancing guidelines of worn masks, the proper distance between attendees and a limit of only 25 students permitted at the event.
The remembrance that featured a flag lowering, National Anthem and brief remarks by staff members was similar to previous years.
“9/11 symbolizes community and family and its shows how we all came together when we had to the most when we could have let adversity (beat us). We stood tall,” said Fares Tadros, 15, of Worth. “9/11 symbolizes what we can do as a country. We never failed to get back up.”

Local News

Richards High School Bands Director Jordan Fransler will be running the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 9, raising money for Miracle Network Dance Marathon. (Supplied photos)

Richards teacher to tackle the Chicago Marathon

By Kelly White As bands director at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Jordan Fransler’s days are filled with education and music, but that’s not all. In his free time, the talented teacher likes to put on his running shoes. “Running became one of my favorite hobbies several years ago. It started out as a…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Mount Carmel tested in win over Brother Rice

By Steve Millar Correspondent After Mount Carmel beat each of its first five opponents by 24 points or more, senior quarterback Blainey Dowling thinks it is good the Caravan had to fight to the end against an upset-minded Brother Rice team. Dowling ran for the game-winning 15-yard touchdown with 1:58 left to lift Mount Carmel…

In just its second year as a team, St. Laurence's girls golfers won a regional title. Photo courtesy of St. Laurence

Area Sports Roundup: St. Laurence golfers make history

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer   That didn’t take long. The St. Laurence girls golf program is in only its second year of existence but last weekend celebrated a major accomplishment. Coach Jim Tracy’s troops won the Providence Catholic Class 1A Regional by four strokes, logging a 372 to edge University High (Chicago), which finished…

SXU coach Mike Feminis reacts as the final horn goes off as he earns his 200th career win in a thriller over 18th-ranked Roosevelt. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pigskin Wrap: St. Xavier tops Roosevelt in thriller, gets Feminis career win No. 200

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer Saint Xavier coach Mike Feminis was gunning for his 200th career victory, but it looked more like he might be tagged with his 78th career loss. After wasting a 14-point halftime lead, the Cougars found themselves down six in the closing minute of the Homecoming game Oct. 1 at Bruce…

CRRNH_Carnevil02_100522

Halloween’s dark side

Carnevil on 64th promises grisly, gory, ghoulish frights By Cosmo Hadac Those passing the home at 5716 W. 64th St. this month may see the grave of Pennywise the Clown or Freddy Krueger dancing to the Monster Mash. What started out as a way to celebrate Halloween during the pandemic’s social distancing mandates has expanded…

Joan Hadac

Don’t take senior center for granted

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] I’m back. Thank you, Patti Tyznik, for filling in and giving me a week off. I hope this becomes a regular thing! Nominations are now open for officers to serve on the board of directors of the Southwest Side Senior Service Organization,…

Orland firefighters show how they extinguish a burning building. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Community turns out to salute Orland firefighters at open house

Nearly 500 people attended an open house hosted by the Orland Fire Protection District on Saturday that featured an up-close look at the techniques firefighters use to respond to emergencies. Demonstrations by firefighters included a rope rescue showing how individuals can be rescued from apartment buildings; the dive team demonstrated how they can rescue individuals from…

recycling logo

Palos Township hosts recycling event Saturday

Palos Township and the Cook County Sheriff’s Recycling Program are holding a paper, electronics and drug recycling event on Saturday, October 1, at Township Hall, 10802 S. Roberts Road in Palos Hills. Township residents only are eligible to bring paper for shredding, electronics for recycling and unwanted or expired drugs for proper disposal from 9…

Livia Mitre, 9, of Beverly, was happy to be a part of Lake Katherine's Monarch Celebration.

Butterflies are king at Lake Katherine Monarch Celebration

By Kelly White Kicking off the fall season with a festival dedicated to the beautiful Monarch butterfly was Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanical Garden. The nature center, located at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights, held its 29th annual Monarch Celebration, on Saturday, September 24, and Sunday, September 25. Originally called a Monarch Butterfly…

Three aldermen (from left)--Raymond Lopez, Silvana Tabares and Anthony Napolitano—stand alone in City Council last week, as their resolution to hold a hearing on the SAFE-T Act failed to muster any votes other than their own. --Supplied photo

Lopez, Tabares threaten ‘no cash bail’ hearing

Claim law may release ‘violent, repeat offenders’ By Tim Hadac Two Southwest Side aldermen are threatening to defy their City Council colleagues and hold hearings on the impact of the state’s controversial SAFE-T Act on criminal justice. Fifteenth Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez and 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares joined 41st Ward Ald. Anthony Napolitano last…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
Richards High School Bands Director Jordan Fransler will be running the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 9, raising money for Miracle Network Dance Marathon. (Supplied photos)

Richards teacher to tackle the Chicago Marathon

By Kelly White As bands director at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Jordan Fransler’s days are filled with education and music, but that’s not all. In his free time, the talented teacher likes to put on his running shoes. “Running became one of my favorite hobbies several years ago. It started out as a…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Mount Carmel tested in win over Brother Rice

By Steve Millar Correspondent After Mount Carmel beat each of its first five opponents by 24 points or more, senior quarterback Blainey Dowling thinks it is good the Caravan had to fight to the end against an upset-minded Brother Rice team. Dowling ran for the game-winning 15-yard touchdown with 1:58 left to lift Mount Carmel…

In just its second year as a team, St. Laurence's girls golfers won a regional title. Photo courtesy of St. Laurence

Area Sports Roundup: St. Laurence golfers make history

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer   That didn’t take long. The St. Laurence girls golf program is in only its second year of existence but last weekend celebrated a major accomplishment. Coach Jim Tracy’s troops won the Providence Catholic Class 1A Regional by four strokes, logging a 372 to edge University High (Chicago), which finished…

SXU coach Mike Feminis reacts as the final horn goes off as he earns his 200th career win in a thriller over 18th-ranked Roosevelt. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pigskin Wrap: St. Xavier tops Roosevelt in thriller, gets Feminis career win No. 200

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer Saint Xavier coach Mike Feminis was gunning for his 200th career victory, but it looked more like he might be tagged with his 78th career loss. After wasting a 14-point halftime lead, the Cougars found themselves down six in the closing minute of the Homecoming game Oct. 1 at Bruce…

CRRNH_Carnevil02_100522

Halloween’s dark side

Carnevil on 64th promises grisly, gory, ghoulish frights By Cosmo Hadac Those passing the home at 5716 W. 64th St. this month may see the grave of Pennywise the Clown or Freddy Krueger dancing to the Monster Mash. What started out as a way to celebrate Halloween during the pandemic’s social distancing mandates has expanded…

Joan Hadac

Don’t take senior center for granted

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] I’m back. Thank you, Patti Tyznik, for filling in and giving me a week off. I hope this becomes a regular thing! Nominations are now open for officers to serve on the board of directors of the Southwest Side Senior Service Organization,…

Orland firefighters show how they extinguish a burning building. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Community turns out to salute Orland firefighters at open house

Nearly 500 people attended an open house hosted by the Orland Fire Protection District on Saturday that featured an up-close look at the techniques firefighters use to respond to emergencies. Demonstrations by firefighters included a rope rescue showing how individuals can be rescued from apartment buildings; the dive team demonstrated how they can rescue individuals from…

recycling logo

Palos Township hosts recycling event Saturday

Palos Township and the Cook County Sheriff’s Recycling Program are holding a paper, electronics and drug recycling event on Saturday, October 1, at Township Hall, 10802 S. Roberts Road in Palos Hills. Township residents only are eligible to bring paper for shredding, electronics for recycling and unwanted or expired drugs for proper disposal from 9…

Livia Mitre, 9, of Beverly, was happy to be a part of Lake Katherine's Monarch Celebration.

Butterflies are king at Lake Katherine Monarch Celebration

By Kelly White Kicking off the fall season with a festival dedicated to the beautiful Monarch butterfly was Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanical Garden. The nature center, located at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights, held its 29th annual Monarch Celebration, on Saturday, September 24, and Sunday, September 25. Originally called a Monarch Butterfly…

Three aldermen (from left)--Raymond Lopez, Silvana Tabares and Anthony Napolitano—stand alone in City Council last week, as their resolution to hold a hearing on the SAFE-T Act failed to muster any votes other than their own. --Supplied photo

Lopez, Tabares threaten ‘no cash bail’ hearing

Claim law may release ‘violent, repeat offenders’ By Tim Hadac Two Southwest Side aldermen are threatening to defy their City Council colleagues and hold hearings on the impact of the state’s controversial SAFE-T Act on criminal justice. Fifteenth Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez and 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares joined 41st Ward Ald. Anthony Napolitano last…

House Ad Subscription1
CRR NH Farmers Insurance Cavoto House Ad