Photos and Written by: Edward Kranson
This year’s September 11th, the sun rose revealing a clear blue sky just as it had on the East Coast seventeen years ago. That beautiful day was due to be shattered later that morning. Now, we still remember that day as if it were yesterday, imprinted and seared into our collective memory. This September 11th was a more gentle day and residents of Solera in Henderson gathered together for a ceremony of remembrance sponsored by the Veterans and First Responders Club. It is the fourth such observance in that community and as was noted by one of the speakers the only formal ceremony held in the City of Henderson.
The official program began with the Color Guard composed of members of the Henderson Police and Fire Departments replete with bagpipes and drums. The ceremony continued with a welcome from the Club’s President, Howard Spanier, and an invocation from minister and Solera resident Curt Williams. He recounted the painful timeline of the planes smashing into the towers, the attack on the Pentagon and the Shanksville PA crash which had been forced by its passengers to end its flight before reaching its target of destruction. Williams recounted the numbers of passengers, the numbers of victims on the ground and the great numbers of First Responders who would perish in the fiery aftermath. He finished with a prayer and a moment of reflecction.
After Williams had concluded, Spanier introduced Solera resident, Jim Lee, who sang “This Land Is Your Land”. Spanier introduced the three guest speakers from the City of Henderson: the Mayor Pro Tem, Gerri Schroeder, Deputy Fire Chief, Scott Vivier, and Deputy Police Chief, Thedrick Andres. They spoke of their remembrances of that day. After the guest speakers concluded, First Responders who were present were asked to stand while the “First Responders Hymn” was played. The ceremonies ended with the audience joining with Jim Lee in singing “God Bless America.” Honored guests and attendees were invited to an informal reception in the lobby following the conclusion of the program.