Houston Diveristy

Local first responders honored on 16th anniversary of 9/11

Houston News


By Sophia Beausoleil – Reporter

PASADENA, – On Monday evening, the city of Pasadena held a ceremony to honor and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Pasadena Police Department, Volunteer Fire Department, Dispatch and EMS took part in the tribute to pay respect to the fallen first responders.

“The people are relying on us to restore order to chaos and we typically respond to people on their very worst day, so it’s our job to try and make that day a little better and that’s exactly what those guys on Sept. 11 were doing,” said Pasadena Fire Chief Lanny Armstrong.

Armstrong, who retired from the Fire Department, said he was overseas when terrorists crashed two planes into the twin towers in New York.

He had taken a job overseas and was living in Singapore when the attack happened. He said he was on the phone with some of his former Houston firefighters at the time.

“I had a terrible, terrible feeling that something bad was fixing to happen, and when it collapsed, we were on a conference call. I realized there were a lot of guys in that building, including four really good friends I had met over the years,” said Armstrong.

Students, who were babies when Sept. 11, 2001 happened, were also part of the ceremony. Three students from St. Thomas Episcopal School played the bagpipes as first responders marched in.

One of the teens said even though he didn’t know what was happening when he was a baby, he’s learned over the years and understands what the day means. That is why, he said, it was a privilege and an honor to play at the Pasadena ceremony.

“Although I wasn’t’ really aware of it, it does bring a dreadful feeling, it’s very serious, no doubt about it,” said Arvind Mohan, who is a junior at St. Thomas Episcopal School.

Even though the day was focused on the fallen heroes of 9/11, Patriots Day was also about honoring those who helped saved thousands during Hurricane Harvey.

The Strawberry Festival president, Murline Staley, thanked first responders for their efforts during the storm, and gave each department a plaque.

“Our Fire Department, our Police Department, our paramedics, our dispatch and, I want to say, the heroes that don’t wear a uniform and, I want to say, to our linemen that were out there, ‘This city is full of heroes,'” Staley said.

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