Wednesday, September 11, 2002
Steamboat Springs Police Services Director J.D. Hays asked the small crowd before him Tuesday afternoon to remember the victims of Sept. 11 and the people who died trying to save them.
"I won't ever forget, and I hope you don't ever forget," Hays said.
The Steamboat Springs police and fire departments held a flag-raising ceremony in front of the Police Services building to honor fallen firefighters and police, military personnel and civilians.
It marked the first time local firefighters, police and emergency responders had a flag of their own to salute.
The flagpole and American flag are a gift from local businesses.
Chad Gagliano, owner of Lupo's and Levelz in Ski Time Square, wanted to do something for the men and women who safeguard the Steamboat Springs community.
He moved to Colorado from New York City, where he grew up with his father being a police officer.
Assistant Police Chief Art Fiebing suggested a flag for the fire and police departments.
Levelz and Lupo's took the idea to heart and funded the cost of the flag, flagpole and installation.
It was a way to say thanks, Gagliano said.
"If anything happens (here), these are the people who respond," he said of Steamboat's police, fire and emergency units.
Sgt. Joel Rae and Officer Pua Utu carefully unfurled the American flag during Wednesday's ceremony in front of a hushed audience of firefighters, police officers, emergency responders and community members.
Firefighter Michael Arce raised the flag and lowered it to half-staff.
Fiebing and Hays kept their remarks short and encouraged people to reflect on those who ensure the nation's freedom and safety, as well as those who died in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.
A moment of silence was observed. Then the crowd turned its attention to the symbol of freedom overhead.
Adults and children, with hands over their hearts, pledged their allegiance to their flag.