Join us to mark Sept. 11 tragedy |

Join us to mark Sept. 11 tragedy

Kenny Guinn

Our nation and our state will mark the third anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Saturday, Sept. 11.

The special ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. in Carson City, on the front lawn of the Capitol. The public is invited to join me and the Department of Public Safety to remember Americans who lost their lives on that tragic day and to honor the law enforcement officers, emergency personnel, and volunteers who continue to protect and serve Nevadans.

The hour-long event will feature a special video presentation, “Nevada: Proud. Prepared. Protected,” which highlights some of the brave men and women who protect Nevada in times of crisis.

In the three years since the 9/11 attacks, our state has responded in remarkable fashion to the challenge of making our communities, our transportation hubs and our places of business safer. Nevada’s emergency and law enforcement personnel are more prepared today for emergencies and disasters than at any other time in our state’s history.

The Department of Public Safety works seamlessly with law enforcement, fire departments and emergency agencies so that our citizens can travel freely and safely throughout our state.

In recent weeks, our Homeland Security efforts have taken important steps forward with the appointment of Adjutant General Giles Vanderhoof as the state’s Homeland Security administrator, and University Medical Center Emergency Medicine Director Dale Carrison as chairman of the Homeland Security Commission.

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These two individuals, working in concert with George Togliatti, director of Public Safety, are ushering in a new phase in our anti-terror efforts. All of the state’s resources in combating terrorism can now be fully and collaboratively channeled to keep Las Vegas, Reno, and all of our smaller towns and rural areas beyond the reach of the hand of terror.

Saturday’s event will be a time of reflection, and a day to remember the loss of thousands of brave Americans. It is important to remember, however, that from loss often comes hope.

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, our nation has grown stronger. Today Americans readily acknowledge the great sacrifice that first responders make and the skill with which they execute their dangerous and difficult jobs.

We now teach our children that heroism is a word not to be used lightly, and that its purest and truest application comes when it is used to honor our men and women in uniform, whether they are firemen, peace officers, or military personnel, and the many civilian volunteers who are often the first responders during times of crisis.

Please join me on Saturday in acknowledging the noble work of all of these people. Their calling and their sacrifices ensure the safety of all of us – and for that we all should be eternally grateful.