300 turn out for 9/11 ceremony at fire station
Public pays tribute to those killed in terrorist attacks, plus Pleasanton soldier
A crowd of about 300 joined members of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department on Sunday morning in a tribute to those who died and their loved ones who survived the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.
Fire Chief Jim Miguel led the ceremonies that included remarks by Pleasanton Police Chief Dave Spiller and others in the Fire Department. The traditional ringing of the large bell outside the department's headquarters and Fire Station No. 1 at Nevada Street and Bernal Avenue honored firefighters who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center's twin towers in New York.
Also honored was Army Specialist Jameson Lindskog, a military medic and Pleasanton resident who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this year. His mother Donna Walker and her husband Matt accepted a special plaque in her son's honor at the ceremony.
Among those at the ceremony were Pleasanton Mayor Jennifer Hosterman, Vice Mayor Cheryl Cook-Kallio, and City Manager Nelson Fialho. Lt. Colonel David James, garrison commander for Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training in Dublin, also attended, along with member of both the VFW and American Legion posts in Pleasanton, dressed in full uniform.
Miguel opened the ceremony.
"We gather here today on the 10th anniversary of the event we probably could never have imagined beforehand," Miguel said.
He recalled that when his father passed away, he was told that in the process of healing there would come a time when he would begin thinking of the happy times that he shared with his father more than his death.
"Similarly, even though American have been inundated with media coverage of the terrorist attacks, as Americans remember 9/11, we are now also thinking of the great things our soldiers in uniform and first responders are doing today to protect us," he said. "We probably have a better understanding of what these brave men and women are doing for us and our country."
"When I think of this day now I think of our soldiers in uniform," Miguel added. "I think of what they stand for. I think of the opportunity to see them and to meet them and to know what it is that they are doing for us. What a great blessing it is to have people that will put themselves in harm's way to that we might enjoy the beauty of this wonderful country."
Police Chief Spiller agreed, adding: "While it seems odd to call this a celebration, I really believe that it is a celebration of our unity, the unity of our community and the unity of a great country."
"The tragedy that we endured and the bravery, the heroism and the selflessness that came out of that will always be in our minds now and forever," he said. "Ten years after the event that impacted our nation and the world, we as Americans will never forget those feelings that we had, feelings that we still carry today -- the feelings in shock and disbelief, of fear and vulnerability, of anger and contempt and the urge for retaliation.
"We have each evolved as people from 9/11," he added. "The devastation of Sept. 11, 2001, will forever linger in our minds. Now 10 years later, it is critical that we remember the values of our freedom and the American way of life."
"As chief of the Pleasanton Police Department, I'm proud to stand with Chief Miguel and members of our organizations in providing safety service to this community," Spiller continued. "Today we stand together, we are prepared together and we will never forget."