By Mary O’KEEFE
On this Day of Remembrance, Crescenta Valley residents showed their compassion and respect at ceremonies throughout the area.
The ceremonies began on Friday when schools within Glendale Unified School District paused at 8:46 a.m. to read a brief history of what happened on September 11 and to have a moment of silence.
The ceremony began a little early, at 8:15 a.m. at Lincoln Elementary School where students were joined by Glendale Fire Department firefighters, station 29. Principal Stephen Williams spoke to the students about the day and about the images many had been seeing throughout the week of the attacks.
CV High School Principal Michele Doll read to the students, “Ten years ago, on Sept. 11, 2001, the United States and the world were shocked by a sudden terrorist attack on this country that killed nearly 3,000 people.”
She continued to speak of what had happened, how many lost their lives and how the country has changed. They then held a moment of silence.
Over 30 people gathered outside the Glendale Fire Station 29 early Sunday morning, all quietly greeting each other with hugs and smiles. Some came before church, some were walking their dogs, but all were there for one reason—to stand with firefighters and police to honor those who lost their lives in the September 11 terrorist attack.
Glendale firefighters stood in front of the station in silence as the flag was raised and lowered to half-staff at 6:50 a.m. At 6:59 a.m. a tribute was held honoring those who had sacrificed their lives on 9-11. A moment of silence was observed at all Glendale fire stations.
Ten years ago during the response to the attack, 343 firefighters and 72 police officers lost their lives. Each station read a specific list of names of those victims.
“That you are here to share this moment with us means so much,” said Capt. Rudolph Woody.
The morning was marked with reflection for Montrose residents Susan Kagel and Jo Ness.
“My mother and sister were supposed to be on one of the planes,” Kagel said.
“One of the planes” is all that had to be said. Kagel’s mother and sister were to depart Boston early that Sept. 11 morning. Instead they decided to change to a later flight.
“My sister’s husband called, [he was] crying,” Kagel said.
He told his sister-in-law of the attacks and that he wasn’t certain if his wife and mother-in-law were on the plane.
“The first tower had already been hit. I saw the second tower hit,” she said.
At that point she still wasn’t sure if her family members were on their scheduled flight. It wasn’t until after the second tower was attacked that Kagel got word that her mother and sister had changed their flight.
“It took them three days to get home. They had to rent a car and drive,” Kagel said.
Fourth grader Mason Allen was on hand for the early morning ceremony. The Fremont Elementary School student said teachers had been talking about September 11.
“We all went outside [on Friday] and we sang songs,” he said of the school’s remembrance ceremony.
Memories of 9-11 were the topic of discussion for most that arrived at both the Glendale fire station and the community ceremony at Two Strike Park. About 100 people joined members of the Amercian Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, CV Chamber of Commerce and CV Town Council who all partnered to organize the event as a way for residents to share in the Day of Remembrance.
Mike Baldwin, American Legion commander, lead the ceremony, which also included a moment of silence in honor of the victims of 9-11.
Capt. Dave Silversparre spoke of what we had learned and how our country had changed after the attack.
There is better communication between law enforcement agencies now, and there is more security throughout the country including the airports as a result of the attacks and the world climate afterwards, he said.
The response to 9-11 has changed the way firefighters approach their job, Woody said.
“We’ve learned that there is a certain group or faction who’s sole purpose is to do harm to [our country],” he said.
As the country has become more aware of the real possibility of terrorist attacks on American soil, so have the emergency responders.
“Prior to 9-11 we were like moths to a flame, now we think about what [caused] the incident,” Woody added.
Emergency responders have always been cautious of every situation they respond to, but now after the Sept. 11 attacks, that image of the attacks are carried with them.
“We will never forget….We would have all done exactly what [New York responders] did on that day….Not think of the gravity of the situation, they just knew they needed to respond,” he said.