City of Amarillo honors fallen heroes of 9/11

Photo by Jackie Sellinger

State representatives join Amarilloans to honor those who died in Twin Tower tragedy

By Linda Cortez

Hundreds gathered Sunday morning in front of City Hall to remember and honor the heroic emergency workers who fell on 9/11.

“We didn’t have time to say goodbye, so we come together today to tell them now,” said Melinda Garcia.

About 3,000 Americans lost their lives that day. Among them were 343 firefighters, 23 police officers, 37 port authority police officers and eight paramedics.

The memorial ceremony began with a prayer for strength and support for the families who lost loved ones followed by the tolling of a bell in honor of the firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice.

As the crowd fell silent, the final 10-42 code was called loud and clear for police officers who fell, clearing them to be honorably relieved from all further assignments.

“I am pleased that we are able to participate in this ceremony,” said state Rep. Four Price, R-Amarillo. “Not only because of what occurred 10 years ago, but equally as important on how we responded and the strength of our country and how we overcame adversity and how we did not give up our freedoms. And that we continue to fight, that we continue to make this country strong and safe. And for that, I’m very proud”

The ceremony continued with a salute honoring all families of American emergency workers who have fallen in the line of duty.

Mayor Paul Harpole read a letter from U.S Sen. John Cornyn, R-Austin.

“Sept. 11, 2001, changed our country forever,” Harpole read. “Ten years later in 2011, crowds of Americans across the country and throughout the state of Texas remember what we learned on that terrible day. We learned that adversity brings out the best in us, we learned that terrorists can take lives and knock down buildings but they can’t destroy what makes America the greatest nation on earth. We learned that heroes walk among us every day.”

Two pieces of steel salvaged from the remains of the World Trade Center were preserved and archived at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, and on March 8, 2011, the two pieces of history arrived in Amarillo to be displayed in the museum in the central fire station.

“We owe all of these men and women first responders, law enforcement, firefighters, EMS,” said state Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo. “We owe all the others a debt of gratitude.”

The ceremony concluded with an honorary march of local emergency responders, military personnel, city and state officials in remembrance of the victims and heroes of 9/11.


Originally published: Thursday, September 22, 2011

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