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Sept. 11 memorialized by city, Legion
ARLINGTON Low turnout marked the city of Arlingtons remembrance of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and beyond, which was conducted at Terrace Park on Sept. 9 by members of Arlington American Legion Post 76.
Because of the modest attendance, many speakers abridged their planned remarks, echoing the sentiments of Jay Lorenz, who said, Were all family here.
Lorenz, former commander of Naval Radio Station Jim Creek, paid tribute to those who lost their lives not only on Sept. 11, but also in the years and armed conflicts since.
Countless Americans, from all branches of service to police, firefighters and border patrol officers, are protecting us from terror and tyranny, Lorenz said. Theyre putting their butts on the line, every day, so that we can do what were doing right now, which is assembling and talking. We all have a role to play. We can do our part by welcoming the troops when they come home and getting involved in helping the cause.
Arlington Fire Chief Jim Rankin acknowledged the contributions and sacrifices of all those involved in the War Against Terror, before focusing on the toll its taken on the nations firefighters.
The Sept. 11 attacks are continuing to kill firefighters who survived that day, because of the dust they breathed in, Rankin said. There was a fire in another building in New York City that was rendered unusable as a result of those attacks and, as a result, even more firefighters died saving lives. Firefighters continue to do their jobs, knowing that any call could be their last. They dont focus on the risk, they just do it, and we should salute them for putting their personal safety on the line, to ensure our own.
Arlington Police Officer Jonathan Wells spoke on behalf of Arlington Police Chief John Gray, advocating a down-to-earth approach to dealing with threats of terrorism, natural disasters and other emergencies.
You shouldnt live in fear, but you shouldnt live with a false sense of security, either, Wells said. To that end, itd be a good idea if everyone developed disaster preparedness plans for themselves, like the city of Arlington is doing.
Wells concluded by sharing a story of his brother, whos serving in the military overseas and how difficult the War Against Terror has been for families such as theirs.
Im a veteran of the first Gulf War and Im still a reservist, Wells said. You have no idea how hard its been sometimes, not to volunteer to go overseas, but when I talk to my brother he tells me, The fact that youre over there allows me to be over here, because I know you can watch over things at home.
Mayor Margaret Larson urged the citys citizens to support the efforts of their police, fire and emergency medical services.
On behalf of the city staff and Council, I want to thank you all for a job well done, said Larson, addressing the police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians in attendance. Days like this are a reminder that every day is a blessing, especially when youre living in the most wonderful country in the world.