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Vietnam War Memorial connects SCHS students to national history

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On Friday, May 18, a group of veterans, administrators and SCHS alumni gathered to honor graduates of Santa Clara High School and Buchser High School (now SCHS) who were killed in the Vietnam War.

During the Vietnam War, which lasted from 1964 to 1973, 2.7 million Americans served and 58,000 died. SCUSD Superintendent Dr. Stanley Rose began the event by reflecting on the enormous losses due to the war.

“The people identified on these plaques were students from Buchser and Santa Clara High Schools who lost their lives in the Vietnam War,” Rose said. “It is fitting that they should be memorialized here as a reminder that the freedoms we enjoy today should not be taken for granted.”

Lorrie Garcia-Amezquita, an SCHS class of 1967 alumna, was the brainchild behind the memorial. She fundraised and organized the creation of the plaques, wanting to create the memorial to pay tribute to her classmates.

Ernest Abeytia, who wrote a poem on the plaques, wants students to remember that the people listed were not much older than teenagers when they were killed.

“We ask young people to go risk their lives and not always for the right reasons. The Vietnam war is an example of that,” Abeytia said. “These young people served their country without questioning why. They deserve our respect and certainly deserve to be remembered.”

Principal Gregory Shelby sees the memorial as an opportunity for students to make personal connections with history. Dr. Rose agrees.

“I want all of our students to be connected with local and national history. All you have around you has been protected by people who lost their lives for you,” Rose said. “It falls to your generation to pay it forward.”

 

The memorial can be found in SCHS’s front office near the nurse’s office.

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Vietnam War Memorial connects SCHS students to national history