Sept. 11 ceremony to be held Tuesday in Carson City
September 8, 2018
The first two weeks of September bring a sense of solemnity to Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Furlong remembers in vivid detail how 19 hijackers commandeered four passengers jets and rammed three of them into emblematic buildings of greatness and the fourth, which passengers wrestled control from four terrorists, crashed in a field in western Pennsylvania.
Furlong also takes a moment to look back on the IHOP Restaurant shooting that occurred on Sept. 6, 2011, a decade after the hijackings. Five people — including three Nevada National Army Guard members, a woman and the perpetrator — died as a result of one man's actions. On that day and also with 9/11, Furlong remembers how quickly first-responders reacted and arrived to help.
"Sept. 11 is probably the biggest example of why we must not forget," he said, while also referring to the IHOP shooting as Carson City's 9/11.
Pastor Patrick Propster of Cavalry Chapel said the Carson City Christian Ministerial Fellowship will gather Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Mills Park at the 911 Memorial site near the entrance of the Marv Teixeira Pavilion. They will remember, pray and reflect on what occurred 17 years ago as more than than 3,000 people, including those on the four jets, died that morning at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania.
With four terroristic events occurring within hours of each other, Furlong said the hijackings thousands of miles away from the Silver State not only changed the way Nevadans carried on with their every day life but also how those events affected many communities.
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"Relatives and friends of those people span the entire country," Furlong said. "American society … no one was left untouched."
The Carson City memorial contains a piece of steel from the WTC to serve as a vivid reminder although the towers crumbled to the ground, American resolve and unity rose from the ashes. On the current site of the twin towers rests the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. As one person wrote on the memorial's website, "What we witnessed from the firefighters, police officers, medical personnel and countless citizens in the aftermath was the most amazing show of love, kindness, unity and the American spirit I have ever seen."
Propster also said it's important to "Always Remember, Never Forget." He believes it's a solemn promise everyone should follow and also remember how the events 17 years ago changed a nation. More importantly, he remembers how everyone came together.
"It pulled us up as 'One Nation under God,'" Propster said, adding any kind of tragedy on a major scale shows the intrepidness and patriotism of its citizens and first-responders such as firefighters running toward the WTC's burning towers.
Propster said speakers from Carson City will speak along with prayers offered by local pastors. In addition to Furlong, Mayor Bob Crowell and Fire Chief Sean Slamon will also speak. Furthermore, Propster said it's important for people to keep police officers, firefighters, ambulance crews and paramedics and the military in their prayers and to remember the service they provide to maintain safety.
"The local churches are a place to keep this alive as well as the public square," Propster explained. "If we don't take time to remember, it (9/11) will be lost until another tragedy happens."
Crowell also reflects the thinking of city leaders from around the state.
"It is important for each generation to pass on to future generations the history of what happened on that day 17 years ago so that our nation never forgets the lessons we learned, the sacrifices of those we lost, and valor of those who daily serve and protect each of us, our families, our communities, our state and our country," he said.
Crowell also praises the military men and women who keep vigil on the country's safety.
"We honor and pay our respect to America's brave men and women in uniform around the world, some in places we may never have heard of and may never know about, who daily go in harm's way to protect our homeland and our way of life," said the mayor, a Vietnam War veteran and retired Navy captain.
Slamon encourages residents and guests to attend the one-hour event to remember 9/11 and for all to reflect on the nation's best who tried to save lives from the WTC and Pentagon.
"The first-responders made great sacrifices," Slamon said. "They put their lives on the line for people they never met."