Reflecting on 9-11
Last week we tried to present a comprehensive overview of the many events taking place in the community to commemorate the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.
Being the 10th anniversary of such a devastating attack on our country, it was no surprise that the Crescenta Valley, like the rest of the nation, was eager to honor those thousands of people who perished in the attacks as well as show respect for those who risked their lives to rush to the aid of the injured.
I felt a tremendous amount of pride reading Mary O’Keefe’s stories of the firefighter/responder who was on one of the first flights that arrived in New York after the attacks; of Scott Mekelburg who was with the California Army National Guard and gave us a first hand account of how the military reacted to the news; and of Bella, a local rescue dog, and her trainer who were flown to New York to help with recovery efforts.
The pride I felt was that all these stories were Crescenta Valley stories, of those who live among us that are, in many ways, silent heroes.
On Sunday at local fire stations, residents gathered to pay homage to those who sacrificed their lives while attempting to rescue the injured in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC. Many churches in the area had special commemorative services and at Two Strike Park the VFW and American Legion held a memorial service.
The Two Strike service began at 8:15 a.m. and I was able to attend.
The sky was overcast as the crowd that numbered around 100 gathered on the grass near the location of the flagpole. Mike Baldwin of the American Legion, emceed the event that included the singing of the national anthem by Wendy Alane Smith and the raising of the flag, then lowering it to half staff, by the Homenetmen Shant Chapter Scouts.
The Scouts were given direction in Armenian, a demonstration of respect and a declaration that the Armenian community grieved for the nation’s loss alongside its neighbors.
Earlier in the week, the Crescenta Valley Armenian Community and Youth Center had sent commiseration letters to elected officials including Supervisor Michael Antonovich, Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian and Crescenta Valley Town Council President Cheryl Davis. Excerpts from the letter read, “The Armenian American Community of Crescenta Valley will always remember the sacred memories of every rescuer who perished in honor, every act of bravery and selflessness and every family who continues to mourn and live in grief.”
Father Ghevont Kirazian of the CV Armenian Apostolic Church delivered the opening invocation and words of inspiration.
CV Sheriff’s Capt. Dave Silversparre told the crowd how the attacks changed the way that law enforcement dealt with situations, that protocols had to be altered or entirely revamped.
At 8:46 a.m., a moment of silence was shared as many in the crowd joined hands. The ceremony ended as a Scout from Troop 288 played Taps.
This was just one of many events in the community and I’m only sorry I couldn’t attend them all.
Thanks to Mary O’Keefe and photographers Leonard Coutin and Danny Goldsworthy who started Sunday early to capture as many of the stories as they
could to share with you.
Looking ahead, I want to remind you of our anniversary event at CV Park on Saturday, Sept. 24. We will be part of the Early Rodders car club’s celebration – they celebrating their 10-year anniversary and the CV Weekly celebrating our second. There’s going to be cars, food, dancing, music and cake. It’s free to attend – from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
We hope to see you there.