Five representatives of New York City firefighters will be in Reno beginning today with an exhibit of relics from Ground Zero.
Their goal is to keep the spirit of Sept. 11 alive, according to Reno resident Debbie Bullentini, who is coordinating their schedule in Nevada.
Bullentini said the firefighters have been touring the country.
"They are going to tour schools and other community service groups, giving presentations," Bullentini said. "They were only in the office a few days before they had to come here.
Mike Bellone was the safety director at Ground Zero. Several television programs interviewed him for programs to be aired today.
Bob Barrett, a retired fire chief from Ladder 20, Engine 1, lost almost his entire crew in the World Trade Center, and Dennis Fisin worked at St. Paul's Chapel during the 10-month recovery.
Eugene Gershman and Laura Cannon handle the tour's logistics.
Gershman said he watched the towers collapse from his Brooklyn window.
"I spent the next few days trying to figure out what was going on," he said. "I guess I was a regular Joe watching from the sidelines until Bob and Mike gave me a chance to get my hands dirty."
The team is bringing relics from Ground Zero and will talk about their project, Trauma Response Assistance for Children. They have a book coming out about it.
The firefighters will be at the Peppermill's Silver and Platinum rooms 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. through Sunday. They will visit Carson City on Monday to tour the Capitol and Governor's Mansion.
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In Carson City, official observances have been scaled back considerably from last year when hundreds of people crowded onto the Capitol lawn to hear speakers from different religions and backgrounds.
Gov. Kenny Guinn and first lady Dema Guinn are attending a ceremony at the Firefighters Memorial in Mills Park 9 a.m.
Last year, the chimes at the Paul Laxalt Building rang each time an aircraft struck in the 2001 and played patriotic tunes during the day.
This year, the chimes will play their regular programming.
A lower-key celebration this year has dropped sales for Old Glory back to pre-Sept. 11 levels, according to a Reno flag purveyor
Marty Smith of the Flag Store in Reno said his sales are back to pre-Sept. 11 levels.
"We're back to normal," he said. "Our American flag sales are 30 to 40 percent less than last year."
Smith said he thought that with President Bush's declaration of Patriots Day, that at least there would be some interest in other patriotic items.
Smith said he doesn't know what to think about the slowdown.
"Maybe people are trying to forget or maybe they've stopped caring," he said. "I hope not."