9-11 remembrance held at firemen's memorial

New York firefighters presented Gov. Kenny Guinn with a memorial flag Thursday in appreciation of the state's support following the attack on the World Trade Center two years ago.

"One of the lessons we learned is just how precious life is," said Robert Barrett of Ladder Company 20, which lost 20 men that day. "And what an honor it is to be born in America."

The flag, he said, is one of those used in the honor guard ceremony for the 342 new York firemen who died when the towers collapsed.

"The flag represents dignity and honor for all the firefighters who've given their lives, not just at Ground Zero," said Mike Bellone of FDNY.

Guinn accepted the flag on behalf of Nevada at a subdued ceremony at the Nevada Firemen's Memorial in Mills Park. About 75 attended the remembrance, more than half of them state officials, fire and police.

"On Sept. 11, democracy was attacked, liberty was assaulted," Guinn said. He said those who died will always be remembered and ordered flags flown at half-staff on what he declared as Patriots Day in Nevada.

He urged people to remember not only those firefighters and victims, but the firemen across the state and nation who risk their lives to protect the public.

And he urged them to remember those who have given their lives in the war on terrorism since that date.

From his Washington, D.C., office, Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., said eight Nevadans have lost their lives in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Kuwait and Iraq. He described Thursday as "a time for remembrance for a day our nation will never forget."

Gibbons said the nation at every level has worked to make America more secure since then. "While we are not perfect, America is safer."

The ceremony at the memorial in Carson City was much more modest than that held on the Capitol grounds and again in Southern Nevada on the first anniversary of the attacks. Last year's Carson City memorial was attended by more than 500 and featured speeches by religious as well as political leaders, prayer services, a choir, 21-gun salute to the victims and a military flyover.

Guinn's staff said the governor wanted to keep the remembrance much smaller this year.


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