As part of the commitment to never forget, the Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary Club hosted a ceremony commemorating the events of Sept. 11, 2001, honoring Juneau’s first responders at the 9/11 memorial at Riverside Rotary Park Sunday morning.
Capital City Fire/ Rescue Fire Chief Rich Etheridge said the day was especially significant as it served as a humbling reminder of why he and other first responders proudly carry out their respective jobs and the difficult tasks that often come with them.
“It’s a very moving ceremony for me personally, I was in law enforcement at the time this happened,” Etheridge said. I was just getting off the graveyard shift, and I was glued to the television that entire day before having to report to duty again that night and watching the sacrifice of people who knew they might not come out of those towers or the sacrifice of the people on the aircraft, just knowing that could be the calling we have to answer any day, it’s very humbling and a moving memory.”
Welcoming remarks were made by Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary President Marc Guevarra, which were immediately followed by an invocation given by Chaplain Chris Sutton of the United States Coast Guard District 17. Afterward, attendees were given a chance to give personal thanks to members of the Juneau Police Department, Capital City Fire/Rescue and other first responders who were present.
Following JPD Color Guard, Elizabeth Djajalie sang the National Anthem. JPD Officer Timothy Kissner then spoke about the significance of the monument and how its design was intended to help represent the events of the tragic day itself.
“I think the significance of the monument is to help us remember,” he said. “The design of the monument reflects the tragic loss we had on that day with the four sides representing the four airplanes. It’s very significant for us to remember our past and it’s nice to have it here in Juneau for people to remember.”
CCFR Capt. Anne Wilcock provided an invitation to remembrance by reflecting on her own experience and recalled how she felt on the day when she was 13 and sitting in math class in Juneau. City and Borough of Juneau Juneau Deputy Mayor and former EMT Maria Gladziszewski then paid tribute by laying a wreath at the memorial sight, which was then followed by a rendition of “Amazing Grace” performed by Scott Marnon of the City of Juneau Pipe Band.