Memorial renews patriotism | NevadaAppeal.com

Memorial renews patriotism

F.T. Norton
Photo by Brian CorleyAlex Parker, 11, tries to walk around a fire engine with fire gear Sunday at the Sept. 11th memorial at Mills Park. Hundreds of people came out to remember those that died and to look at Fire, police and military equipment on display.
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Capt. Bob Schreihans, of the Carson City Fire Department, said he had one thought on Sept. 11, 2001, when the World Trade Centers collapsed into a pile of steaming metal.

“I thought, ‘They just lost a load of firefighters,” he said solemnly.

Schreihans was one of dozens of Carson City law enforcement officers, National Guardsmen and firefighters on hand Sunday at Mills Park for Nevada Remembers, Northern Nevada’s largest tribute to the heroes and memorial for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks.

Beverly Fitzgibbon, of Dayton, brought her grandchildren to the park to enjoy the National Guard’s display of helicopters and an M1 A1 Abrams tank or to climb on the fire engines. As she sat in the shade of the trees, Fitzgibbon said she was moved by the patriot music being played.

“I feel a sense of community spirit I’ve never felt before,” she said.

Fitzgibbon was one of nearly 500 people who converged on the park, moved by their sense of patriotism and a need to reconnect with their community.

“It’s the cathartic effect of a community getting together and remembering what we as a nation experienced,” said Carson City Sheriff’s Department Deputy Bill Richards of the gathering.

Richards, a motorcycle cop with the department, was parked near the Carson City Sheriff’s Department’s Special Operations Response Team van where SORT officers displayed their weaponry. Countless children, from the littlest to the biggest were eager to take a seat on Richards’ highly polished Harley Davidson.

Mayor Ray Masayko and Secretary of State Dean Heller addressed the crowd, as well as officers with the Army and Air National Guards. Hundreds of guardsmen have been put on active duty status since the attacks.

A flyover of National Guard helicopters brought the crowd to its feet, cheering.

Marcella Boichuk, originally from Russia, smiled broadly at the patriotism around her as she wandered through the park with her children, 7-year-old Stephanie Robinson and 5-year-old Christian Robinson.

“I love this!” She said. “This is great.”

Army National Guard pilot Capt. Daniel Waters who flew the Blackhawk helicopter into the park, said the hundreds of people who had climbed through the cockpit of his chopper Sunday were all kind.

“I’m very proud to be a Nevadan and a soldier today,” Waters said. “I’ve had people come up and thank me. It’s been a humbling experience.”