Paying tribute to the fallen first responders

Irvine Police Color Guard opened the IVC 9/11 Commemoration. (Michael Dorame)

Michael Dorame

A large American flag draped down behind the stage as speakers honored the fallen at the IVC 9/11 commemoration last Friday.

Nancy Padberg, board president for the South Orange County Community College District, introduced the ceremony, calling it a “solemn day of remembrance.” She said the event’s purpose was to “remember the cause of untold national sorrow.”

Marching onto stage, the Irvine Police Color Guard held the American flag as Irvine City Mayor, Sukhee Kang led the Pledge of Allegiance.

After that, Linda Leyrer sang “You Raise Me Up,” the sound of her voice mingled with sobs in the audience.

Among the officials present was Irvine Police Chief David L. Maggard Jr., who then spoke of the events that unfolded on 9/11.

“For first responders, it was indeed a tragic day,” Maggard said.

He then talked about current efforts to prevent terrorism saying, “It is incumbent upon all Americans to be vigilant, and report suspicious behavior to law enforcement.”

Maggard warned that lone-wolf terrorists should be of greatest concern at this time, the term referring to terrorists who act alone with the intent of carrying out wide-scale massacre. Maggard cited the Fort Hood shooter, Nidal Hasan, as an example.

Michael Moore, division chief with the Orange County Fire Authority then told the audience about his visit to the World Trade Center towers on July 4, 2001.

He referred to the events of 9/11 as “One of the darkest days in our nation.” Moore also talked about how we “saw the American Spirit shine through people” and how they rallied together.

Another dignitary who took the podium was Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.

“We are here today to remember the victims and heroes of 9/11,” Hutchens said.”We owe it to them to continue to be eternally vigilant in our fight against those who would seek to harm us and our way of life.”

Hutchens said she was proud when she heard SEAL Team Six had eliminated Osama bin Laden.

“The message was heard around the world,” she said and then gave thanks to the military, calling them “our silent warriors.”

She ended by quoting former President Ronald Reagan,

“We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free,” Hutchens ended, quoting former president Ronald Reagan. 

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