The Town of Atwater National Day of Remembrance ceremony held on the grounds of the Atwater Community Center on the morning of September 11 began with a prelude by the Atwater High School Marching Band followed by the presentation of the colors by the joint guard of honor followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the national anthem by Jordyn Allison, and an invocation by John Motz, pastor of the New Life Community Church.
Marking with sadness the 20th anniversary of the tragedy, Pastor Motz asked the Lord for healing and unity, saying: compassion and understanding for one another as we all seek to heal from the wounds that have been inflicted . “
Pastor Motz lifted up in prayer all those who died in the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the hijacked fourth plane that crashed into a rural field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
He said, âWe also come together to pray for those we have lost in the days following these attacks, to recognize our shared grief, to come before you as our common hope. God, we trust You and Your love and care for all that we have put before you now. We ask you to console their family and friends and all who cry in the hope that all who trust in you will find peace and rest in your presence.
âFather, I pray for the survivors and those who survived but were marked by the memories of those we have lost. I pray for those who have courageously responded and brought help and comfort to the afflicted and for those who continue to respond and provide help and comfort in times of crisis. . .. “
Mayor Pro Tem / Atwater City Council Member John Cale welcomed and presented the ceremony.
Describing his reaction that day starting with the first plane hitting the Twin Towers, Cale said: âWhen I think about that day, I think a lot about the people who have died, the people who have lived and the members of their families. , and that saddens me. . But I also think of that afternoon when the leaders of the United States gathered on the steps of the State Capitol building – Republicans, Democrats and Independents – together and not across the aisle, and said, “God bless America”. It was great to see. They did the right thing. “
Cale then mentioned many local officials who were present at today’s ceremony, including Supervisor Daron McDaniel, representatives from Senator Anna Caballero’s office, representatives from Congressman Jim Costa’s office, representatives from the member’s office. of Assembly Adam Gray, Atwater Councilor Danny Ambriz and Lori Waterman, Director of the Town of Atwater. They were joined by local police departments, the California Highway Patrol, CalFire, the Marines and many others who had visited the memorial.
After Cale’s speech and the recognition of those present, a minute of silence took place.
During the ceremony, it was mentioned that the first plane touched down at the Towers at 9:03 a.m. and the last flight, where people on board heroically took matters into their own hands, touched down shortly after 10 a.m.
The ringing of bells honored the memory of those who died on September 11. The names of 35 fallen local heroes were read, including those from the military, law enforcement and CalFire.
Then there was the three end shot, the game of taps and the folding of the American flag.
The blessing was given by Pastor Rich Miller of Victory Baptist Church.
After the ceremony, guests gathered inside for refreshments, courtesy of Victory Baptist Church.