Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 | 1:19 p.m.
Events Tuesday around the Las Vegas Valley paid tribute to victims of the 9/11 attacks and also served as a reminder to emergency responders of their commitment to serve and protect their communities.
“Some wonder why we invest time and resources in remembering 9/11,” Clark County Fire Chief Bertral Washington said at a midmorning ceremony at the Clark County Government Amphitheater to commemorate the attacks and honor the victims. “I believe that it starts with our desire to pay the highest respects to the responders that perished, knowing that like them any one of us may face the same fate as we serve the community that we love. We use this day to say thank you and to give our support and appreciation to the families for sharing their loved ones with us.”
Eleven years ago, terrorist attacks that rained tragedy on New York City, Washington, D.C., and the Pennsylvania countryside shocked the nation and the world.
On Tuesday, local residents, police, firefighters and elected officials gathered downtown to make sure that although the pain and anger wrought by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks have dulled with time, the memories of the nearly 3,000 victims, the heroism of the first responders and the sacrifices of U.S. soldiers after the attacks have not been forgotten.
A procession of bagpipers, a helicopter flyover and a 21-gun salute all helped set a somber mood for the event, which drew more than 100 people, many of them in uniform. Speakers from Metro Police, the Henderson, Las Vegas and Clark County fire departments, the Clark County Commission and the Las Vegas City Council recalled memories from the fateful day.
“This is a time to remember the courage shown by those who faced tragic situations on Sept. 11, 2001 and to appreciate the freedom we all enjoy today,” said Clark County Commission Chair Susan Brager. “All of us were impacted by what happened on that morning 11 years ago. … It is important for our community and our nation to honor those innocent lives taken 11 years ago, as well as the men and women who serve us on a daily basis.”
Across town at Palo Verde High School in Summerlin, students and staff paid tribute to Barbara Edwards, a French teacher at the school who was a passenger on Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11. The tribute to Edwards is an annual event on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Edwards – who was born in Germany in 1943 and came to the United States when she was 10 – was returning from visiting family in Virginia when she died. She taught at Palo Verde from 1998 to 2001.