On Sept. 11, 2001, the United States was struck by an act of terrorism that would change the world forever. Though a time to memorialize both civilians and public service members who were lost during the attack on the Twin Towers, Pentagon and Flight 93, the day also offers survivors an opportunity to pay respect to those in both public service and military who fight everyday to keep residents safe. On the 16th anniversary of the event, Lake Havasu City remembers September 11 as a time for commemorating the tragic events and how we all came together as one in unity.
“This is one of those type of ceremonies that unite us all,” Lake Havasu Police Department patrol officer Kevin L. said. “This is the spirit of unity, we all need to remember that.”
The ceremony at State Beach, began promptly at 8:30 a.m., with Bud Watts leading. Sisto Sandoval opened the ceremony with prayer followed by a moment of silence. Presenting the colors was the Marine Corps League, VFW, American Legion, LHFD/DHFD and LHPD/DHPD.
A flag-raising ceremony followed, in which the American flag, and POW/MIA Flags were raised to full mast by Rosamond Naylor and Frank Emery.
The Lake Havasu Military Moms led the Pledge of Alliance and the posting of the colors was completed by the Marine Corps League.
Division Fire Chief Jeff Harran, and engineer Mark Martz, led the Bell Ceremony while the folding of the flags was initiated by the Marine Corps League and a wreath placement by the Military Moms.
Desert Hills Fire Chief Pat Dennen said, “343 firefighters were lost that day, so in San Bernardino County, we decided that everyone on the force is a firefighter for the month of September. We hope to bring that same tradition to the Desert Hills Fire Department.”
Honored guest speakers included Mayor Mark Nexsen, and Veteran’s Court Judge Mitchell Kalauli.
Patriotism is best celebrated through the classic heart songs of the nation. The National Anthem was performed by Thunderbolt choir teacher Jeff Young, as the Native Air Service flew over the event. Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American” was performed by the Lake Havasu High School Choir.
Justin Bacon and Jim Glover represented the LHFD Bagpipe Team by performing “Amazing Grace.”
“We don’t want to forget the hard work that everyone put in that day. I like that all public safety and military can remember everything that happened and come as one. Always remember what they did and what they do still,” Justin Bacon, LHFD engineer and member of LHFD Bagpipe Team, said.
Taps was performed by Jerry Reiten and Dennis Dickey. VFW Post 9401, Marine Corps League and American Legion Post 81 finished with a rifle salute to end the ceremony.