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WCCC hosts first responders remembering 9/11

Grand Junction police officer Shad Le Fever quoted U.S. President Abraham Lincoln reminding the community that the values offered by the 16th President of the United States are still important and relevant today. After finishing the words of Lincoln the current class of the Western Colorado Community College (WCCC) Post Academy delivered the American flag and hoisted it to half-mast honoring first responders who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"I want to thank you all for attending our ceremony, as we once again gather in honor of our beloved citizens and first responders whose ultimate sacrifice should never be forgotten during the attack of our great nation on that day," said Le Fever. 

Following remarks by Le Fever a coronet played a rendition of "Taps" and the new flag was raised. CMU Student Brooklyn Buhre sang the national anthem. The law enforcement and first responder agencies of Mesa County stood by in salute and reverence.

Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis was among those who attended.

"WCCC organizes this event each year with the hard work of John Piatanesi. He helps bring us all together to not only honor those who sacrificed their lives on 9/11, but for those who risk their lives each and every day in the name of protecting our community," said Lewis. 

Following the national anthem two firefighters placed a wreath at the foot of the flagpole. Event participants explained that the wreath symbolizes all those who have died in the service of the U.S.

A minute of silence was offered during the program to allow participants to contemplate a world that would, "know an end to the wars and violence that take sons and daughters from their mothers."

Event participants included:

Western Colorado Peace Officers Academy, WCCC Paramedic Program, Combined Honor Guard of the Grand Junction Police Department, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, the Grand Junction Police Officer Shad Le Fever, the Lower Valley Fire Department, CMU student Noah Graf (Taps bugler) and CMU student Brooklyn Buhre (national anthem singer).

The words of Abraham Lincoln, spoken over 150 years ago at a dedication in Gettysburg, Virginia, read by Le Fever:

“It is for us the living, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here, have thus far, so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here, highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that the government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth. “ -Abraham Lincoln



Written by David Ludlam