9/11 Memorial ceremony encourages us to never forget
Robert Marshall and Dan Lorentzen prepare to speak at the 9/11 Memorial last Saturday at the Fire Station.
The downtown Lake Stevens Fire Station welcomed the community to a 9/11 Memorial on Saturday, Sept. 8 hosted by American Legion Post 181.
The touching ceremony focused on the heroes that were born on that day 11 years ago. It also reminded us of those heroes who were made because of that day.
“It is more important than ever to remember what we are fighting for – our freedom,” Lake Stevens Police Commander Dan Lorentzen said. “It is our responsibility to ensure that this patriotism is instilled in each of us.”
The service opened with a flag ceremony and a prayer given by American Legion Post 181 Chaplain Don Mulder who said, “In you there is justice, in you there is peace.”
Post 181’s 1st Vice Commander Tony Morea told the story of the events of Sept. 11, 2001 including the beautiful day that those in New York City and Washington D.C. woke up to.
Morea spoke of the planes hitting the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and of Flight 93 that went down in a field in Pennsylvania.
“The greatest example of love is how our country pulled together,” he said.
He also extended an invitation to remember September 11 by doing something for your community.
Post Commander Tom Thorleifson, who is also an elementary school teacher in Granite Falls, gave an emotional speech imploring those of us who remember the events of that day to teach the children who either were not born yet or do not remember.
“The reason for this (ceremony) is to make sure our young people learn what has happened in our country’s history,” Thorleifson said. “We need to remember and to help our younger citizens. We need to pass it on to the younger generations.”
He also encouraged us to remember the famous words of those on Flight 93 before they chose to take the plane down themselves, “Let’s roll!”
“We are a nation at war, not because we want to be but because we have to protect our freedom,” Thorleifson said.
Lake Stevens Fire Marshal Robert Marshall shared his thoughts as well as he spoke of the heroes who were born that day. Mostly out of necessity. He explained the Ringing of the Bell which was rung 5x5x5x5x5 (3,125) times to represent the approximate number of lives lost that day.
“The ringing of the bell honors and respects those who have died in the line of duty,” he explained. “We did not know these heroes, but we do in spirit. Let us never forget the legacy that has come before us.”
Marshall also shared how deficiencies in the way fire departments and police were trained to respond were brought to the forefront on that day. He explained that since then federal grants have been provided to provide training to better respond to such situations. Because of these grants the Lake Stevens Fire Department has received over $750,000 for supply equipment and training.
As the ceremony came to a close 1st Vice Commander Tony Morea reminded each of us, “The greatest respect we can pay is to get involved in your community so if it happens again, we can be together.”