With solemn respect, Parkites remember
Jack Climer remembers he was getting ready for work in Clovis, Calif., on Sept. 11, 2001 when his son called him with the news of the attacks on the East Coast.
Climer, who is with the American Legion, the veterans group, calls the attacks "one of those Pearl Harbor events" that will be ingrained in the American consciousness.
Climer, who lives in Heber and owns a Park City business for veterans, was among the crowd Monday evening at City Park to mark the fifth anniversary of the attacks with what was largely a salute to emergency workers.
"It’s a sign of respect for those who are serving today and those who lost their lives on 9-11," Climer says about his attendance, adding, "It’s all I can do. New York says it best: never forget."
At City Park, American flags decorated the lawn outside of Miners Hospital as the crowd, including police officers, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters, remembered the attacks with solemn words about the emergency personnel who were killed responding and with recognition of those who serve locally.
Lawmen, firefighters and soldiers placed individual memorials of equipment used by the people in their fields as reminders of the Sept. 11 fallen. A helmet and boots commemorated the firefighters, hats and helmets saluted the law-enforcement officers and combat boots and a helmet recognized the soldiers.
"Taps" pierced through the cloudless sky as the officers and soldiers stood at attention saluting the memorial. Sobs were heard from the crowd as the notes for the fallen soldiers played. A bagpiper slowly walked through a path in the crowd playing "Amazing Grace."
A lineup of officials gave brief speeches during the 40-minute ceremony, talking particularly about the bravery of the emergency workers who responded to the attacks.
"These firefighters were just doing their jobs," said Kelly Gee, the fire chief of the Park City Fire District, recalling those who were killed at the World Trade Center.
He said Monday’s remarks were the toughest he has made as the fire chief and praised the emergency workers who helped evacuate and rescue the survivors in New York City.
Lloyd Evans, the Park City police chief, said the terrorists failed in their mission on Sept. 11.
"That attack was meant to bring this country to its knees," he said. "Rather it brought citizens to their feet."
Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said he hopes Americans are grateful for the freedoms of the nation and spoke about "the nobility of the common man."
"What we showed them truly was benevolence," the sheriff said.
A medical helicopter briefly circled overhead as a flag was raised to half-staff. People saluted and put their hands over their hearts as the stars and stripes climbed the flagpole.
Mayor Dana Williams told the crowd that the nation was changed forever by the attacks and talked about the importance of law enforcement and the military. He said Americans disagree on politics but support those in the emergency services and the military.
"We are not divided on the people serving our country," Williams said.
Bob Richer, a Summit County Commissioner from the Snyderville Basin, described what he saw as the "triumph of the human spirit" shown by emergency workers and regular people.
"When called, they answered the call," he said, noting the "essence of the American spirit" that people showed.
Climer, the Park City businessman, says his son-in-law recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with the Idaho National Guard and says that the emergency workers who participated on Monday would respond with bravery if they were called to locally.
"Look at these guys here. Every one of them would do the same thing here," he says. "They would go in harm’s way for any of us."
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