In the grand scheme, it wasn’t a big deal — my participation in a ceremony this morning at Rio Hondo College honoring and remembering all of those affected by the horrific events 11 years ago today.

But it was a big deal to me. It was an honor to drive out to Whittier this morning, put on a freshly laundered and pressed Rio Hondo College Police Academy uniform atop a pair of specially shined shoes and join three of my fellow cadets on the campus quad. And represent.

The event was brought to our attention a little more than a week ago. The college’s Associated Student Body leaders had invited any available cadets from the academy to be involved in the event.

My first reaction was rather dismissive.

Then I thought on it harder and it dawned on me what a unique opportunity this was not only to show pride in my academy but to honor those in public safety who laid down their lives on September 11 many doing a job I myself now aspire to.

Some say I’m 20 years too old to chase such a goal. I say to them: watch me. Certainly I am a long hard way from that achievement. There are many push-ups to do, miles to run, shoes to shine, uniforms to press, and all manner of tests and tactics, protocols and procedures to pass and master before I can get to graduation next year, much less then begin to seek employment… probably from some who’ll look at me and say I’m 20 years too old to chase such a goal.

Daunting? Yes. Doable. Yes.

For now, though — for this morning — I didn’t think about all that. Instead I thought about the privilege of standing with my fellow cadets on this day — a student of public service and safety on a day made so sacred by those public servants who we lost.

We marched past a gathered crowd of college students and staff, took our positions of attention, and saluted when we were supposed to, including the full minute of silence at 9:11 a.m. Then when it was over we marched out past the crowd.



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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with laonstage.com, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."