Commemorating Patriot Day – Sept. 11

An annual motorcade and evening remembrance is planned for the community.

File photos
Vickere Murphy, left, and CV Sheriff’s Station Capt. Chris Blasnek, standing during the singing of the national anthem during the 2017 commemorative event at Bob Smith Toyota.


It all started six years ago when three community members were sitting around a table talking about 9/11 and how the country survived this most devastating attack, and how important it was to remember and honor those lives lost.

Dwight Sityar, Jean Maluccio and Steve Pierce thought there needed to be a way they could keep 9/11, now known as Patriot Day, in the hearts and minds of the community. They came up with an idea to organize a motorcade, which over the years has become the Crescenta Valley Remembrance Motorcade Patriot Day.

Since the beginning, it was planned to have two separate events. The first is the motorcade in the morning that is more focused on recognition of the community, mixed with remembrance of those who served and gave their life during the 9/11 attack.

“This year we are recognizing those who serve at the Port Authority,” Sityar said.

They are also honoring the two Los Angeles County Fire Dept. personnel – Capt. Tedmund “Ted” Hall and Firefighter Specialist Arnaldo “Arnie” Quinones – who died during the 2009 Station Fire.

On Sept. 11, 2001 when a hijacked airliner struck One World Trade Center in New York, and moments later another airliner struck Two World Trade Center, it was the Port Authority police officers who were the first law enforcement personnel to respond. On that day, 37 Port Authority police were killed.

The motorcade is made up of classic cars, fire engines and law enforcement vehicles that will follow a route where they will pass the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station and fire stations from both Glendale and Los Angeles County and American Legion Post 288. The motorcade will also travel past several local schools. It is during this time that children, who were not born prior to 2001, wave flags and cheer for those early responders who keep them safe. They are also celebrating American patriotism. At a past event, several students from The Center for Children at La Crescenta Presbyterian Church joined veterans at American Legion Post 288 on La Crescenta Avenue to view the motorcade.

“We are here to say thank you,” said 4-year-old Sofia Green (at the time). She was dressed in red, white and blue. Sadie Russell, 3, also dressed in patriotic colors, joined her classmate.

“We are saying thank you to the firemen and the policemen. They help us to stay safe,” she said.

The Taylor Aguilera family walked to the American Legion Hall from their home after hearing about the motorcade.

“I thought it was important to see [the motorcade],” said Christy Taylor.

Her daughter attended La Crescenta Elementary School. She said that her family, including father Michael Aguilera and younger son Paxton, had been talking about 9/11 and thought this motorcade was a good way to start that conversation.

“It is important for my kids to know about [9/11],” Christy added.

For children it is also a time to honor the first responders who rushed in to save others without thought of their own lives.

In the evening of 9/11, the mood grows somber. It is a time for remembrance of what the country faced during those first few hours after the Sept. 11 attacks. It is a time to hear from local first responders who still mourn the loss of their comrades.

The evening event will be held at Bob Smith Toyota, 3333 Foothill Blvd. at 5:30 p.m. It is free to attend and all are welcome.