Honoring the memory
They came to remember those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
They came to honor the everyday heroes who stand between them and danger the firemen, police officers and emergency personnel.
They came to the Prescott Valley Civic Center Sunday afternoon for the fourth annual Patriot Day event.
Prescott Valley American Legion Post 108 Commander Keith Burley said, "It is a good thing for the town to do."
It was fitting that Bob Boorn and the Patriotic Band provided the music for the even since the band organized after 9/11 happened.
"The majority of the band members belonged to the Prescott Bavarian Band. After 9/11, people wanted more patriotic music," Boorn said.
Prescott Valley resident Penny Lyons came to Patriot Day with her daughter and three grandchildren.
"I am extremely patriotic, and today commemorates a very important day, and we continue to have crisis as a nation. Events like these pull us together," Penny Lyons said.
Nine-year-old Brittaney Lyons said she understands what happened on Sept. 11, 2001.
"The planes crashed into the buildings and not everyone survived," Brittaney said.
With a little help from her grandmother, Brittaney said it is important to remember what happened "so we can protect ourselves and not let this happen again."
Prescott Valley Mayor Harvey Skoog said Americans need to remember the people who died and "what a sad day it was. Hopefully they will have renewed thoughts of patriotism and remember what makes them Americans and become better Americans."
Central Yavapai Fire District Assistant Chief Mike Parrish said, "9/11 affected all of us. We don't think about it too much during the rest of the year, but when this day rolls around we feel grief."
Parrish said the firefighters attended Patriot's Day because they wanted to remember the firemen, police officers and people who died in the terrorist attacks.
Parrish's 7-year-old son Cole said Sunday's event was about remembering the firefighters who died.
Cole is probably too young to remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001, but when he was asked about what happened, he said, "planes crashed into the Twin Towers and they collapsed. It hurt firefighters, policemen and people who worked in the buildings."
Skoog noted that President George W. Bush designated Sept. 11 as Patriot Day soon after the 2001 attacks.
Pastor Dennis Sullivan of the Landmark Missionary Baptist Church said the invocation and then spoke to those attending the event.
Sullivan said it is right to remember the victims of Sept. 11, but people should also remember "what it is that made this country strong. Remember what makes this county unique. It is the outpouring of giving to the victims of 9/11, and now to the victims of Hurricane Katrina."
Soloist Debbie Place sang "God Bless America," while members of the Prescott Valley Public Works Department unfurled a huge American flag from the top of the Civic Center.
Prescott Valley residents Rizo and Victoria Cananea attended Patriot Day to "get involved and be a part of the celebration."
Rizo Cananea said he was getting ready to go to work in Tucson when the attacks happened.
"I was ironing my clothes for work and I got stuck watching the television.
"It is important to remember Sept. 11 because it is going to be part of our history. We have to remember those who died and those who helped everybody," Cananea said.
Cananea said the lesson learned from Sept. 11, 2001, is that "Americans are strong people. We need to get ready for anything. We cannot let the terrorists win."