On September the 11th, a 9-11 Memorial Service was held in front of the Courthouse in Jourdanton. The ceremony was hosted by County Judge Bob Hurley.
The Poteet VWF Post 6970 Color Guard presented the colors at the beginning of the ceremony with Taps played by Poteet High School Senior Derek “DJ” Lozano. Victoria Rodriguez sang the National Anthem. Rev. Johnny Arrington gave the invocation and invited guests spoke about what 9-11 meant to them. These included Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward, Pleasanton Mayor Travis Hall, Poteet Mayor Willie Leal, Veterans Service Officer Sarah Gamboa, Atascosa County Historical Commission Chairman Martin Gonzales and Jourdanton Mayor Pro- Tem Raul Morales.
Each guest speaker shared a bit about where they were that day 18 years ago and how it impacted them then and today. Most speakers spoke about the sacrifice of the first responders. Of the 2,977 victims killed in the September 11 attacks, 412 were emergency workers in New York City. This included 343 from the New York City Fire Department and 37 police officers of the Port Authority of New York and New jersey Police Department. Twenty-three NYPD officers and eight emergency medical technicians and paramedics from private companies. There were 75 firehouses from which at least one member was killed.
Atascosa County Judge Bob Hurley introduced Atascosa County Veterans Service Officer Sarah Gamboa to speak about her remembrance of 9-11 as he noted the number of veterans who have fought the war on terror subsequent to this act.
“September 11, 2001 was a morning just like this, a young marine sat in a graduation ceremony in Camp Lejeune in North Carolina excited to go on leave,” said Gamboa. “Excited for the first duty station and eager to discover what adventures the Marine Corps had to offer. Little did they know as they sat there celebrating their accomplishments their future was being rewritten. The nation that they loved so much and had pledge to honor and protect had come under attack. Citizens, our way of life came under attack, that young marine was 19-year old me.
“So today, along with you all, I remember the nearly 3,000 men, women and children lost in those attacks,” said Gamboa. “I honor the more than 7,000 service people who have given their lives in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the Middle East to preserve our freedom and the American way of life. September 11 was once a day that held no special meaning, but on that morning in 2001 a storm of terror and hate rained on us all. This storm was meant to replace freedom with fear but we are resilient and did not cower in the face of terror. Americans united together as family. We must remember the tragic events of that day and remember that as Americans our spirit can prevail over any tragedy. Just as Pearl Harbor and World War II defined us as a nation of greatness, so have the wars fought in the Middle East. The 9-11 generation is considered by many as the next great generation as millions of Americans who were not drafted volunteered to wear the uniform and to serve during a time of war. So today, I ask you to take time to remember that day and never forget those that paid the ultimate price. In their honor let’s put differences aside because life is uncertain. It is fleeting and there is not time for hate. Take time to appreciate those men and women who wear the uniform and who would risk it all to preserve our way of life Thank you all. May we never forget.”