A couple hundred people gathered in the City Hall courtyard Monday in honor of 9/11, recognizing all those who perished, were injured or sacrificed during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The annual ceremony in Fallon featured speakers including Mayor Ken Tedford, Gov. Brian Sandoval, local pastors, special music and traditions of honor and respect. A large flag hung from a fire truck behind the podium, flanked by screens showing images from that fateful day.
“I do think it’s important that we stop and observe the 16th anniversary of these terrorist attacks,” Tedford said in opening, adding many have paid the ultimate price so we can have security. “One of the worst days brought out the best in all of us.”
County and city leaders, first responders, civic groups, representatives from Naval Air Station Fallon and members of the press were present for the ceremony that began with the Churchill County High School JROTC presenting the colors.
Pastor Steve Miller from the Victory Baptist Church and also the Fallon police chaplain gave the invocation. E.C. Best Elementary second-graders, wearing American flag handkerchiefs around their necks, sang God Bless America.
“The words ‘nine eleven’ evoke for me a time that shaped and changed the world forever,” Tedford continued to say about the event that claimed the lives of more than 3,000 people involved in the four passenger jet crashes. “The smoke lingers today.”
The mayor said Fallon’s 9/11 monument that includes World Trade Center steel beams acquired from ground zero is a symbol of that day when ordinary people possessed astonishing heroism — in an instant, without any warning, embodying true brotherhood and friendship. He also said United Flight 93’s 40 passengers and crew members won the first battle of terror in the sky.
Tedford said the attacks may have shaken structures but not the foundation of America, and that the country continues to stand as a beacon of light.
“We stand united, and we never give in to terror,” he said. “We must always remember. We just must always remember … America will not be destroyed by outsiders and terrorists.”
Sandoval said the day’s action united America.
“It felt personal because it was personal,” he said, adding Americans came together as one nation, under God, indivisible.
From flight 93 to both World Trade Centers, to the crash into the Pentagon — “the citadel of freedom”— the governor reminded, the heroic acts of that morning will be remembered as the heroic acts of a generation.
“We call them heroes because they were the best as we as Americans can be,” he said. “Today is a day we recommit ourselves to being Americans.”
While the governor said those acts would change the world, America as a people and a country would remain the same including the “perpetual optimism that defines us.”
Sandoval continued to discuss the strength through conflict and how in the United States, we are free to speak, worship and live as desired, contributing to making America the greatest nation.
The CCHS choir directed by music teacher Tom Fleming sang the National Anthem, followed by the mayor reading the chronology of terror and a 21-guns salute by the American Legion, honoring those who have fallen, as well as a playing of “Taps.”
Pastor Brennen Behimer from Parkside Bible Fellowship gave the benediction.
“Help us remember not to take our freedom for granted,” he prayed.
City council members placed a wreath of flowers on the monument, followed by the choir singing Amazing Grace and more music while a long line of first responders and members of the public laid red and white roses on the monument.