As another year passes since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, hearts are still healing from the horrific tragedy. Councilman and volunteer fireman Dean Glaser orchestrated another memorable patriotic event in honor of those fallen.
Under a bright blue sky Main Street filled with fire trucks, police cars, veterans, citizens, and crowd favorite, a tank. The procession rolled down Main Street and gathered in front of the Fortuna Veterans Building for a ceremony MC'd by Dean Glaser who stated, "United we stand. We will never forget."
After a prayer by Southern Baptist Church of Rio Dell Pastor, Rod Sanderson, Glaser drew attention to everyone in attendance for their service as military past, present, and future. A big thank you was extended additionally to fire, police, and EMT responders. Knowing that family and friends are crucial to their strength all were thanked for their service or support of those in service.
With flags flying Mike Gibbs and Elizabeth Marshall Maybee performed songs for the large crowd gathered to remember.
Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department Chief Lon Winburn reflected upon the New York Fire Department's mission statement saying, "As first responders to fires, public safety and medical emergencies, disasters and terrorist acts, FDNY protects the lives and property of New York City residents and visitors.
"The beliefs and values of the NYFD are not unlike any other department. It reflects the culture of fire departments throughout the country. A culture that is now focusing more on risk management," Winburn said.
"The fire service of today utilizes the risk management concept by analyzing the risk and the probable gain before we commit our people to the task. Risk a lot to save a lot, risk a little to save a little, risk nothing to save nothing, but with the overall objective being everyone goes home," he said.
Winburn knows that the first responders risked a lot to save a lot that day.
"They would most likely react in the same way today relying on their training and the culture that they believed in," he said. "I'm proud to be a part of this remembrance and commend the City of Fortuna, Fortuna PD and Fortuna Fire for hosting the event. I would especially like to commend councilman and fellow firefighter Dean Glaser for making this event happen here in our community and sincerely hope he continues to drive it."
Nearly 3,000 lives were lost on 9/11. The loss of life has not ended.
"Each year more firemen are dying from cardio and respiratory diseases from exposure helping at ground zero while searching for survivors," Glaser said. "We must never forget. United we stand. These Americans were part of our great country and we must never forget who they were. We are all Americans and we must unite and remain strong together."
As the event came to an end the honor guard played as veteran Bill Hummel lowered the flag to half staff.
"Thank you, everyone, for attending," Glaser said. "God bless America and God bless you all. See you next year."
Photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon
Veteran and Fortuna City Councilman Dean Glaser was the master of ceremonies at the annual memorial for the victims of 9/11.