IMPERIAL — Last Saturday, the county commemorated the brave men and women the nation lost 14 years ago at the county fair grandstands. With the chants of a multi-agency Color Guard ceremony beginning the tribute, the sounds of the bagpipes echoed against the grandstand walls of theover one hundred-fifty people attending and a little over one-hundred participating men, women, children, young and old. On September 11th, 2001, one of the greatest attacks to ever occur on American soil shook the world.
A devastating spectacle of horror, violence, and helplessness stormed across the nation as millions of people saw two full Boeing 767’s, plow into the World Trade Center. This all happened while being broadcasted live worldwide. Every major news outlet locked cameras as two, one hundred-ten storied buildings collapsed, with smoke and flames bursting from the blast points. Immediately after the attack, a group of men and women were called with the simple mission of saving as many people as they possibly could. Those people were the men and women of the New York Fire Department. Three hundred-forty three firefighters died that day.
People from the Valley partook in the symbolic tribute of running up one thousand, one hundred-ninety steps at the IV Expo Grand Stands. Some in their police uniform, some in their fire uniform, and some in their workout clothes, but all in the smoldering one hundred degree heat. The participants who completed their five sets (1190 steps) were given a badge with a picture and name. These names given were firefighters who lost their lives saving their fellow New Yorker.
As one completed each of their five sets they were given a name, and some even took it upon themselves to run extra earning up to five badges. Each of the badges given had a biography. Under the American flag, a cross, and the lights from the fire engine were biographies of each of the fallen heroes of that day. All of the badges were gone by the end of the night.
“Events like this bring the community together. It makes people realize that there is more important things to worry about. It makes you thankful for the things we do have in this country.” Tiffany Macias, the event coordinator said. And bring people together it did as nine different federal agencies showed their support on Saturday. “It’s good to see people come together for such a tragic event that happened fourteen years ago.”