CEDAR HILL – Police and fire department members representing 10 cities came together Sunday to remember their fallen comrades on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America.
Arriving under an arch made of an American flag supported by two ladder trucks, the fire engines sounded their sirens as they were led in by a flag-carrying honor guard.
The procession came up the entry to the center courtyard of Cedar Hill’s Uptown Plaza shopping center, with fire trucks and police cars representing the cities of Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, Ferris, Glenn Heights, Lancaster, Midlothian, Ovilla, Red Oak and Waxahachie joining together as one to honor those who were a part
of the 9/11 effort.
Opening the ceremony was Cedar Hill Mayor Pro-tem Dan Hayden, who said, “This is a very important and emotional day in America that we will never forget. It’s a day to remember all those heroes who risk their lives.”
After Hayden’s remarks, the opening prayer was given by Chris Parvin of Cedar Hill.
“On the remembrance of that day is why we come together as Americans with those brave public servants from Cedar Hill and nine other cities to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty,” Hayden said.
The keynote speaker was journalist and writer Carlton Stowers.
“We, as Americans, have a remarkable healing power. We have a way of making sense of the nonsensical,” Stowers said, recalling that during the days following the events of 9/11 he was constantly watching the television and taking in all of the information he could.
“After several days I got up, turned off the TV; I had information overload,” he said, saying he went to Granbury to see his then 4-year-old granddaughter to take her to a movie and talk about other things.
“She and those like her are the reason we heal,” Stowers said before introducing his granddaughter, McClean Cruce, to the audience.
The memorial portion of the service continued with a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps” and “Amazing Grace” by the EDUCT Drum and Pipe Corps. The ceremony concluded with the ringing of the bell by Lancaster firefighter Brandon Cook, who tolled the bell for three sets of seven rings each, which is the signal that a firefighter has been lost in the line of duty.