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Pahrump area organizations observe 9/11

Updated September 23, 2019 - 1:50 pm

Multiple organizations in Nye County remembered the nearly 3,000 people killed in the 9/11 attacks and the heroic actions by first responders and citizenry in 2001.

The VFW Post 10054 in Pahrump held a 9/11 memorial ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 11, near the front entrance of its 4651 S. Homestead Road location. Many members of the community and veterans attended the gathering.

Marty Aguiar, post commander for Pahrump’s VFW, spoke for just over 10 minutes on the tragedy and the heroic actions of first responders and others, as part of his speech.

“On Sept. 11, 2001, America witnessed a brand of ruthlessness and evil beyond the realm of comprehension,” Aguiar said. “It was difficult for us to grasp the scope of the tragedies that day. It was one of the single most tragic days in our nation’s history, and many of us thought it as the worst day of our lives.”

Nearly two decades have passed since the 9/11 attacks.

“While time cannot ever remove the pain, we can find some solace in remembering how our nation was united in the subsequent days and months that followed the attacks,” Aguiar said.

“That day, we refused to allow evilness to triumph over good. The accounts of hope and heroism that emerged from the rubble of ground zero, the Pentagon and the rural Pennsylvania fields inspired us all. To this day, those remarkable chronicles of valor continue to serve as reminders of all that is good and true in the human spirit.

“In our grief, our nation’s citizens stood tall and defiantly proud in the face of its enemies, as police, firefighters and airplane passengers and crew members gave their lives to save their fellow man,” Aguiar said. “Their heroism will never be forgotten by a grateful America, nor by the VFW.”

During his speech, Aguiar said, “We learned that we must combat terror and those who seek to deliver terror. Today, we are fighting to ensure that the liberties we enjoy, and the freedoms we cherish, will be secured for future generations.”

Aguiar said that “We know our nation is indeed more secure.

“The resolve born out of tragedy has made us stronger and has made us better as a nation, he said. “The terrorist attacks 18 years ago did not weaken or dampen our spirits. Instead of being defeated, Americans and freedom-loving people from all over the world united together in a time of disbelief, chaos and great loss. We boldly stood as a nation and refused to succumb to the fears or despair. It truly became one of our finest hours.”

Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly and Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Service Chief Scott Lewis were both honored during the ceremony for their support of veterans and veteran’s organizations. They were both given a plaque by the VFW.

The VFW also conducted a flag retirement ceremony on Sept. 11.

This is the first year the VFW has done the 9/11 memorial ceremony.

Aguiar said they plan to continue doing the event going forward.

NyE Communities Coalition event

At the NyE Communities Coalition campus at 1020 E. Wilson Road, the coalition and national service members hosted a national service day project in honor of Sept. 11, National Day of Service and Remembrance.

The community was invited to attend the event to help with building a rock garden near the entrance into the coalition’s campus.

“Part of 9/11 Day is to bring light and goodness out of a tragic situation, so one way that they kind of promote that is to do something that beautifies your community, so we’ll have a kind of pleasant place to kind of sit and relax and meditate,” said Devon Couch, event organizer and AmeriCorps Vista leader.

According to Couch, AmeriCorps and Vistas are required to participate in national days of service.

The NyE Communities Coalition “observes 9/11 Day, and we also try to do a project for Martin Luther King Jr. as well,” Couch said. “This was our idea for this year’s project. It can be anything. It’s usually different every single year.”

The rock garden is accessible to the community, sitting in an open space, near the parking lot for the coalition building.

“We wanted it to be accessible to the community so that during our non-business hours,” Couch said. “They’re also going to have a bench for people to sit, “and they’ll be able to relax and check out all the rocks.”

The initial rock painting occurred on Sept. 11, but the garden still needs a little more before it’s ready.

The garden will likely be ready within a couple of weeks, Couch said.

“The main part of the project was getting everybody here and helping make the rocks and be part of building that rock garden, so … the community has their hand in the project,” Couch said.

Youth groups at the coalition are working to help build the bench for the garden, according to Couch.

At least a dozen volunteers from the community and organizations were present in the early hours of the event on Sept. 11.

Couch said she asked everyone to paint one rock geared toward a theme of 9/11, “so geared toward service, sacrifice, volunteerism, good deeds, some of the different characteristics that represent 9/11 Day.”

Couch said they were also allowing people to design a rock of their choice, “something fun that they can contribute to the garden.”

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @MeehanLv

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