The mood was decidedly somber Friday as students and staff across the Imperial Valley held school ceremonies of respect and remembrance for the victims of Tuesday's terrorist attacks.
At Central Union High School in El Centro, silent students filled the central courtyard, many holding American flags.
"Our prayers and thoughts are with those and the families of those who have lost their lives," said Central Union High School District Superintendent Richard Fragale.
Principal Emma Jones, in a voice shaking with emotion, read a fax sent by Central's sister school in Germany. The German principal said his school felt disbelief, horror and sadness at seeing the pictures of the destruction in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.
As a single trumpet player from the school band sounded out the notes of "Taps," students returned to their classes as quietly as they'd left them.