IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: East County Fire & Rescue Hosts 9/11 Luminaria Event

September 12, 2011

Commissioner Gary Larson, Chair of the East County Fire and Rescue Commission read the following tribute statement at the ECFR hosted 9/11 luminaria event on Sunday September 11, 2011.  The event was held at Station 9-1 at 8:00 pm.  Fire fighters as well as Commissioners read the names of the 343 New York Fire Fighters who lost their lives ten years ago.  The Fort Vancouver Pipe Band played the bagpipes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      — Martha Martin, editor

 Fort Vancouver Pipe Band

Commissioner Larson’s tribute statement:

“I would like to welcome everyone to our Annual 9/11 Commemorative Ceremony.  We are gathered here to remember and to pay tribute to all of the victims who paid the ultimate price on Sept. 11, 2001.  An event that no one in America shall ever forget.

Ten years ago, today, at 8:46 AM Eastern Time, the first of several terrorist attacks against the United States occurred.

When they were over, 2,977 persons had died in those attacks—at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon and near Shanksville, PA.  These were people who had families, had jobs, and had dreams & aspirations.  They came from over 90 countries—and from all walks-of-life.  Additionally, over 6,000 persons were injured.  Twenty four people remain missing—and are presumed dead.  All these people were innocent victims of these senseless attacks.

While responding to the attacks that occurred in NYC, 411 emergency workers died.  These included 343 NYC Fire Fighters and Paramedics; 60 Law Enforcement Officers from various agencies; and 8 Private-Service EMTs and Paramedics.  We acknowledge their honor, their valor; their dedication to duty; and their sacrifice.

As is the tradition of the Fire Service, we are gathered here, tonight, to remember the bravery of those 343 NYC Fire Fighters and Paramedics—who made the Ultimate Sacrifice—while performing the largest rescue effort in recorded history.  Some accounts estimate that as many as 50,000 lives were saved, on September 11th, through the efforts of these Fire Fighters as they worked to evacuate the Twin Towers and the surrounding area.

Once again we are breaking from Fire Service tradition, we are gathered here, tonight, 14 hours after most Memorials begin—to allow our Volunteer Fire Fighters and Medical Personnel an opportunity to participate.  Such a schedule change is necessary because our Volunteers have jobs and family commitments—during the day—which make attendance at such ceremonies very difficult or impossible.

Since most of East County Fire & Rescue’s Emergency Responders are Volunteers, we feel that providing an opportunity for them to participate in tonight’s gathering —along with the family members who support them in their commitment to life safety and community service—is very important.

We are also gathered here, at the request of a group of citizens—the folks on motorcycles—who wanted to thank local Fire Fighters for their service to the Community.  Their request to visit a number of Fire Stations—throughout Clark County, today—to offer appreciation to those who respond 24/7/365 to fires, medical emergencies, and untold other requests for help—was another factor that motivated us to hold this gathering.  As part of their acknowledgement of community service and personal sacrifice, these motorcycle riders will be making a contribution to support the families of Fire Fighters lost ‘in the Line of Duty’.

Tonight’s ceremony features 343 luminaria, each with the name of a NYC Fire Fighter or Paramedic upon it—plus luminaria honoring citizens who were, also, lost that day.  These luminaria were decorated by local Fire Fighters, their family members, and you—to honor those who died on September 11th.

Soon, we will read the names of each Fire Fighter.  You may follow along on the Program that was distributed prior to this ceremony.  Names of lost civilians will then follow.  After the reading of the names, there will be a moment of silence to honor the dead.  Afterwards, please join us for refreshments, tour our station, and talk with the men and women who serve our Community—every day—with honor and distinction.

We thank you ALL for attending tonight’s Memorial.  We appreciate the support that you are showing to Fire Fighters here—and all across this Nation.  We also join you in remembering family and friends lost to terrorist activity on September 11, 2001.

On behalf of this Fire District; the Board of Fire Commissioners; the Officers, Fire Fighters, Emergency Medical Responders; and Staff of East County Fire & Rescue—Thanks, again, for being here.”

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You may contact Commissioner Larson at his email address: glarson@eastcofire-rescue.org or view the ECFR website at: http://www.eastcofire-rescue.org/