Fallon’s 9/11 ceremony honors 15th anniversary
As the years of Sept. 11, 2001, slowly pass away, a new generation either never experienced that fateful day or remember it when two hijacked passenger jets rammed into the World Trade Center, causing them to tumble to the ground, another jet flew into the Pentagon and a fourth plummeted into a field in western Pennsylvania when passengers overwhelmed the terrorists.
For this reason, Fallon Mayor Ken Tedford said remembering the history of that day and what happened afterward should not be forgotten, much in the same fashion people remember Dec. 7 and the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“History … I believe in the 9/11 ceremony. It’s very important because of the history it reminds us.”
The city of Fallon will conduct its annual 9/11 ceremony on Patriots Day —Sunday — at 2:30 p.m. behind City Hall. Tedford said he encourages anyone to attend and the ceremony is a good opportunity for families to bring their children to keep the flame of the tragic events of that day alive.
Gov. Brian Sandoval will be the keynote speaker, and the Churchill County High School choir will sing both the national anthem and “Amazing Grace.” Nevada Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Michael Connell will play the bagpipes.
“It’s a day our country takes pause,” Tedford said. “Our country has done a good job of remembering the day.”
When the events of 15 years ago unfolded, it was early morning in Fallon, but soon afterward, people turned o their televisions to watch the live reports coming from both New York City and Washington D.C.
Since that time, the nation went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, airport screening changed, and the everyday way of life became more guarded.
“Each new generation doesn’t know and should be reminded of what happened that day,” Tedford said.
Churchill County High School sophomore Hayden Hawk agrees it is necessary to remember 9/11.
“It was one of the most recent American tragedies that happened, and it is important to remember all those people who were lost because of what happened,” he said.
Not only did the hijackings rattle the nation but also so did the deaths of 3,000 people to include first responders. Tedford said policemen, firemen and other volunteers died on Sept. 11 as did several thousand people who worked in the World Trade Center’s twin towers. Tedford said the attacks were not carried out in a time of war.
After the United States began bombing Afghanistan and sending troops there, then President George W. Bush said the country was involved in a Global War on Terror. Sadly, one of the first casualties in Afghanistan involved a Fallon soldier, Spc. Jason Disney, who died at Bagram Air Field in February 2002. His name is inscribed on a special monument behind City Hall. During the height of Operation Enduring Freedom, the main road at Bagram was named after Disney.
Chief Warrant Officer Christian P. Humphreys and another pilot died from injuries in late 2008 when their OH 58 Kiowa helicopter crashed near Mosul.
Humphreys flew with the NAS Fallon Search and Rescue Longhorns from June 2004 to May 2006. He left the Navy and joined the Army as part of the Blue to Green program to become a helicopter pilot. He had called Fallon home.
Four soldiers from Fernley also died in either Iraq or Afghanistan; furthermore, Navy personnel who had ties to Naval Air Station Fallon were killed at the Pentagon.
The Navy JROTC color guard from Churchill County High School will represent the colors, and two second-grade classes from E. C. Best Elementary Schools will sing God Bless America.
To conclude the remembrance, first-responders followed by the public will lead a procession to place flowers on the 9/11 and War on Terror memorials. A small fragment of a steel beam from the Trade Center is also embedded in the memorial. Refreshments will be served after the ceremony.
FERNLEY: The 9/11 Ceremony will be held Sunday at noon at the Out Of Town Park. The Nevada Veterans Coalition has conducted this event every year since that tragic attack.