Victorians mark 9/11 with remembrance ceremony (w/video)

Gabriella Canales By Gabriella Canales

Sept. 11, 2017 at 9:45 p.m.
Updated Sept. 12, 2017 at 6 a.m.

Victoria Fire Department Lt. Allen LaFlamme heads the color guard procession during a 9/11 ceremony at DeLeon Plaza.

Victoria Fire Department Lt. Allen LaFlamme heads the color guard procession during a 9/11 ceremony at DeLeon Plaza.   Angela Piazza for The Victoria Advocate

Nicki Laza will always honor Sept. 11, 2001.

"The ceremony was impressive," said Laza, of Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post 4146. "It brought tears to my eyes."

Stars and stripes fluttered to the clear ringing of a silver trumpet playing taps echoing through DeLeon Plaza in downtown Victoria at Monday morning's 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony.

The ceremony was designed to honor and remember people who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Flight 93 in Pennsylvania, including the first responders who died.

A tradition in the ceremony was a moment of remembrance by sounding the last alarm in Alarm Code 333, which represents the completion of a firefighter's duties.

Watching the ceremony with Laza was Royanne Munson, president of Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post 4146.

"It's a very important day in history," Munson said.

Every year, her VFW Post gives cookies to a law enforcement department in Victoria. This year, the Victoria County Sheriff's Office received the assortment of cookies.

"This is how we remember the day," she said. "It's a way to honor their service."

About 432 emergency workers died in the attack at the World Trade Center, said Henry Learn, Victoria Police Department chaplain.

"Sometimes time passes, and we forget," Learn said. "Let us never forget."

Victoria Mayor Paul Polasek visited the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at ground zero before Hurricane Harvey.

"The fascinating thing to me is that those men and women went into those buildings with such a high degree of uncertainty," Polasek said.

Other speakers included Victoria County Judge Ben Zeller and Victoria Fire Chief Taner Drake.

The attack created a change in global consciousness and U.S. policy, surveillance platforms and triage and trauma medicine, Drake said.

First responders and law enforcement dedicate their lives to serve their communities, he said.

"They are truly the modern-day American heroes," he said. "It takes a special person to sign up for that kind of job."


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