Speakers at a Phoenix memorial to honor victims of 9/11 stressed unity on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at City Hall.

“Eleven years ago this morning America changed forever,” said Mayor Greg Stanton during the ceremony. “Today is the day that we honor the lives lost on 9/11. We honor the fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, coworkers, neighbors and friends who were taken from us. It’s an honor for me to give a voice to their memories. Let us never forget that day.”

The Phoenix City Council joined with the Phoenix Police Department and the Phoenix Fire Department at City Hall to honor those who died. The ceremony began with a prayer from Rabbi Robert Kravitz, who talked about the divide that was growing in the U.S. He asked for help from God to bring us all back together.

“Dear God of us all, by whatever title or matter we engage you, we need this from one another,” he said. “We also need your help. Dear God, give us your support to once again come together as a strong, harmonious nation. Help us to recall the emotions of duty, patriotism, responsibility to America that Sept. 11, 2001 started in our bodies and chilled in our souls. Guide us to a future where we can create harmony and peace. Support us in ways we do not yet understand so we may heal our communities and our states and bring our country back together again.”

The Phoenix Fire Honor Guard played “Taps, “America the Beautiful” and “Amazing Grace,” and rang a bell to honor the firefighters and police who lost their lives.

The bell was the signal that started the day on 9/11. It also signaled a change in shifts and the end of the day for those helping with rescue efforts.

On Tuesday the bell was rung to signify the end of hard work for those public safety members who gave their lives that day. It was rung to call them home.

“Law enforcement across the United States responded from city to city,” said Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia. “Protecting their citizens and protecting their infrastructure and protecting their city. There is nothing that a unified United States of America cannot survive. The dedication of our citizens is exemplified every single day in this country in different facets of life and different ways.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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