Most of those attending the Monday morning memorial staged at the Escalon Fire Station on Coley Avenue remember where they were 22 years ago.
That’s because it was Sept. 11, 2001 – the day that terrorists hijacked four planes, sending two into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, and one into the Pentagon. The fourth plane crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania, as passengers fought back and stopped the hijackers short of their intended target.
The program featured a rundown of that day’s events, provided by Escalon Fire Chief Rick Mello. He started the 9/11 memorial service 17 years ago when he became chief in Escalon and said he feels it is important to continue with it each year, so those lost are never forgotten. So too, he said, we should not forget the additional lives lost in the War on Terror that began after the terrorist attacks on that September day.
Postmaster Ken Crandal attended the ceremony and provided some posters of the events of 9/11; he had obtained them from a local resident – commercial photographer and artist, the late Ron Macsenti – who was supposed to have an appointment early morning that Sept. 11 at the World Trade Center but moved it back to 11:30 a.m.
So, he was in the area but was not in the Twin Towers when they were struck; instead, he photographed the aftermath and many of his photos were on display during the ceremony.
Members of the Escalon Fire Department, Escalon Police Department, and Escalon Community Ambulance were all in attendance; a bell ceremony was staged, along with the raising and lowering of the flag. Pastor Arney Corbin of Trinity Church offered a prayer and two songs were featured, songs that Mello said he considers an integral part of the ceremony: “Have You Forgotten” by Darryl Worley and “God Bless The U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood.
Several dozen attended the ceremony, which started at 9:11 a.m. and lasted roughly 45 minutes.