(Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – Residents of this capital city, hit with tragedy earlier in the week with the shooting deaths of four people at a local restaurant, gathered at two somber ceremonies today to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
About 300 people gathered at Mills Park for the Patriot’s Day – 9-11 Remembrance sponsored by the Capital Baptist Church.
A similar number then gathered at the park to see the unveiling of a 1,600-pound I-beam from the World Trade Center towers donated to the city to form the basis of a 9-11 memorial.
Gov. Brian Sandoval made remarks as a covering was pulled off the twisted hunk of metal.
Those attending the first event sang patriotic songs and heard remarks from several speakers, including Mayor Robert Crowell, who made note of the Tuesday attack by a mentally ill man at the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) restaurant which led to the deaths of four, including three members of the Nevada National Guard.
Carson City resident Maria Batt said she and her friend Dot Doyle attended to both remember those who lost their lives and honor the responders who risked theirs to save victims of the attacks.
“That was an emotional day I can never forget,” Batt said.
Doyle said she was driving to her teaching job at Mark Twain Elementary School when she heard the news on the radio. It was tough working with the children that day, deciding what to tell them about the attacks while trying to focus on the job at hand, she said.
“We were just thinking that there are some parts of this that we want to leave behind so as not to open the wounds again,” she said. “But it is very important for all of us to never forget what happened and to also celebrate the bravery of the people that were involved there.”
Crowell called the shootings of 11 people on Tuesday by 32-year-old Eduardo Sencion, who then shot himself and later died of his injuries, “our own worst nightmare.”
Sandoval, who with First Lady Kathleen Sandoval had earlier placed three wreaths at the Nevada Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, the Nevada Veterans Memorial, and Nevada Firefighters Memorial, said that despite the horror of that day, the 9-11 attacks showed Americans at their best.
“On Sept. 11, 2001, Americans from all walks of life stepped into the breach,” he said. “They rushed to the aid of those in despair. They stared down danger regardless of risk or consequences. For all its horror, 9-11 was also a day that marked the greatness of the American people.”
Sandoval too noted the loss of life in the capital on Tuesday.
“The events in Carson City last Tuesday did not play out in faraway places,” he said. “They struck in the heart of our capital. We are perhaps too close to this grave loss to have gained the perspective we share on 9-11. But this much we know: heroes walk among us still.”
The 10-foot-long I-beam is one of hundreds of pieces of the World Trade Center towers delivered to communities across the country by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to form the basis for 9-11 memorials.