Merced County Times Newspaper
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Atwater residents gather to remember heroes, tragedy of 9/11

The City of Atwater brought residents together for a solemn 9/11 remembrance ceremony.

Held at the Atwater Community Center at 8:30 a.m. to coincide with the adjusted time that Flight 11 struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Present at the event was a team of local first responders, including the Atwater Fire Department, the Atwater Police Department, CalFire, and Riggs Ambulance. They joined local city leaders and staff, including Mayor Paul Creighton, Councilmember John Cale, City Manager Laurie Waterman, Public Works Director Vernice Haddix, and others. Representatives from State Assemblymember Adam Gray, Senator Anna Cabellero, and Congressman Jim Costa’s office were also in attendance.

The event began with the Presentation of Colors, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of the Star Spangled Banner. Speakers for the event included City of Atwater Mayor Paul Creighton, Atwater Chief of Police Michael Salvador, and Jeremy Rahn of the Madera/Mariposa/Merced unit of CalFire.

Highlighting the event was the Ringing of the Bells and Recognition of the Fallen Ceremony. Dozens of local fallen military members, members of the law enforcement community, and firefighters were honored as their names were read out. The ringing of a bell broke the silence, and family members in attendance were handed a single red rose.

Concluding the ceremony was an emotional reading of the 13 Folds poem, which places meaning to each fold of the flag when a formal flag folding ceremony takes place.

For those who were unable to make it to Wednesday morning’s ceremony, the grounds outside of the community center will continue to have to spotlights beaming into the night sky as symbols of the Twin Towers from the World Trade Centers.

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