Stanislaus Consolidated Fire District Station 26 was the site for a gathering on Patriot Day, with a special observance on Monday, Sept. 11.
The Ceremony of Remembrance was hosted at its station on Topeka Street in downtown Riverbank, recognizing the day, 22 years ago, that terrorists hijacked four planes. Two flew into the World Trade Center, destroying the Twin Towers in New York City and a third flew into the Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth plane, with passengers aboard fighting back against the hijackers, resulted in the plane never reaching its intended target, instead crashing in a field in rural Pennsylvania.
On Monday, dispatchers passed the word from the 911 Center, calling all to pause for a moment of silence. Following that, Station 26 officers stood at attention, saluting as the unit’s U.S. Flag was raised to full, then lowered to half-staff, in memory of those lost, where it was to remain until sunset.
A small crowd gathered to take in the ceremony, including city staff members, coming from their offices a block away, as well as Mayor Richard D. O’Brien, Vice Mayor Rachel Fernandez, and council members Darlene Barber-Martinez and Luis Uribe. Council member Leanne Jones-Cruz was at work, teaching at a Modesto High School.
Stanislaus Consolidated works in partnership with the Modesto Fire Department and there were simultaneous observances at several Modesto Fire Department locations on Monday, all beginning at 9:45 a.m.
Other stations taking part were in Modesto, Knights Ferry, Ceres and Turlock.
A Stanislaus Consolidated engine and crew had been present to help participate in the ceremony, but got called out on a medical emergency just before the recognition program began.
Sept. 11, 2001 saw the largest single day loss of life of first responders in U.S. history, and officials said the observances are meant to highlight service and sacrifice, as well as remember all those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks and the aftermath.