Villanova marks day of tragedy
by Lenny Roberts
The events of Sept. 11, 2001 were remembered locally Tuesday
when Father Gary Sanders, Villanova Preparatory School assistant
headmaster, blessed a 500-pound boulder and a coast live oak
tree on the grounds of the Ojai campus.
Above Villanova's motto, "Love, Truth, Community,"
in bold lettering, the inscription reads, "Placed in memory
of the innocents killed September 11, 2001 and as a living symbol
of hope for the future."
The boulder and the tree were imported to the campus by VPS teacher
Chris Westphal, who oversaw the project that was perceived by
Villanova students immediately following the attacks.
"The rock itself is engraved, kind of chiseled," explained
Father Gary Sanders, who led a prayer at the ceremony. "These
are two symbols; one that has no life representing those who
died, and the tree, which represents those who are alive and
going on to be peacemakers.
"The students wanted to have a memorial, and they did this
through the Villanova chapter of the California Scholastic Federation.
They got together and raised money by pizza sales and things
Villanova headmaster Anthony Sabatino said "The memorial
is dedicated to the Sept. 11 victims, and also to the ideal that
positive values will ultimately triumph."
The memorial, situated on large grassy plot adjacent to one of
the school's athletic fields, will eventually serve as the anchor
of a grove of oak trees planted as part of a landscape renovations
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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assistant headmaster Gary Sanders blessed an engraved stone and
a coast live oak Tuesday, dedicated to the victims of the Sept.
11 terrorist attacks. The campaign to create the memorial was
led by the Villanova chapter of the California Scholarship Foundation.