Fresno firefighters listened to a roll call of fallen New York colleagues and Buchanan High honored former students killed in the war on terrorism as the Valley on Wednesday marked the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Flags flew at half-staff at all Fresno fire stations while the names of 343 New York firefighters were read over the air. The firefighters perished Sept. 11, 2001, while trying to rescue people following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Fresno Fire Department spokesman Koby Johns said its was the first time the department has commemorated the FDNY firefighters by reading their names over the air.
Several dispatchers alternated reading the roll, which took about 10 minutes.
"It's sort of overwhelming, how long it took," Johns said. "It impresses you -- that's a lot of people."
Many Fresno Fire Department vehicles carry commemorative NYFD stickers.
At Buchanan High, students, staff and "a couple hundred" community members attended a ceremony that honored eight former students killed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, spokeswoman Marci Beddall said.
The California State University, Fresno ROTC also attended the event as Buchanan senior Joe Haubner played taps. Sisters Rachel and Cari Acosta sang "Amazing Grace."
The eight fallen warriors are Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Hubbard, Marine Lance Cpl. Nathan Hubbard, Marine Lance Cpl. Jeremiah Baro, Marine Lance Cpl. Anthony "Tony" Butterfield, Air Force Senior Airman Nick Eischen, Army Staff Sgt. Brian Piercy, Marine Sgt. Matthew Abbate and Army Pfc. Rowan Walter.
McLane High students marked the grim anniversary with poetry and drama during a noontime event, focusing on the famed restaurant Windows on the World, staffed by workers from around the earth.
Everyone present in the restaurant when a hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center's North Tower died, either as a result of the impact or the aftermath -- all of the passages from the restaurant were blocked by the impact zone.
The restaurant's multicultural work force represents the diversity of the McLane community, said teacher Marc Patterson. Portraits of some of the workers served as a backdrop as students performed.
The 9/11 event "is a good lesson in conflict and how not to resolve one," said teacher Melissa Reimer.
McLane students were just children when the attack happened, and organizers said they hoped the event would be eye-opening for them.
The Fresno firefighters and those at Buchanan and McLane joined hundreds of others around the central San Joaquin Valley marking the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. From the annual observance at the California Memorial at Schneider Electric (formerly Pelco) in Clovis to solemn tributes in cemeteries to places large and small in between, people took time to pay their respects.
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