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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Fresno community unites to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of 9/11

Honor. Educate. Remember.

At 8:46 a.m., Sept. 11, 2001, the United States was thrown into bafflement as the first plane struck the World Trade Center’s North Building. At 9:03 a.m. when the South Tower was hit, the confusion ended. It was undeniable that the nation as a whole was under attack and everyone waited with bated breath; the day’s tragedies were not over. Twenty-two years ago close to 3,000 people lost their lives in the radical Islamic attacks, leaving the rest of the nation to remember exactly where they were down to the minute that the terrorism began. 

Feather editors, Chloe McDonald ’24 and Danielle Arndt ’26 interview Mayor Jerry Dyer, Sept. 11.

Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer reminisced about where he was 22 years ago on 9/11. During the time of the event, he was serving as Fresno Police Chief. Once Dyer had heard of the attacks, he and his men along with other stations around the country readied for potential danger. It was still unclear if the attacks were an isolated incident or strategic acts of brutality. 

Despite the suicidal terrorists’ attempts to destroy the country’s security, they unknowingly unified a nation that was doomed to drift apart. After a day of bloody heartbreak, hope rose from the rubble and the country rallied together vowing to “never forget.” 

Current Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama reflects on the day after the disaster, 9/12. “Once we got over the shock it was a sense of unity, a sense of connection, a sense of purpose, a sense of mission that as Americans we were all in it together,” Balderrama says. “It really doesn’t matter what state you live in or what you look like, it was the fact that our country was attacked. It was up to us to come together and  respond in a proactive way, but also a humane way and defensive way and I think we did that.”

The patriotic comradery could be seen nationwide after the horrific events. David McDonald, former CEO of Pelco (now owned by Schneider Electric), took it upon himself to locally construct a site of remembrance creating the California 9/11 Memorial in Clovis, CA. Merely months after the attacks hundreds of surviving NYC firefighters were flown out courtesy of McDonald. Now, 22 years later the Clovis memorial has continued to recognize the lost and survived of 9/11, under the mission statement “Honor, Educate, Remember”. 

Sheriffs from Fresno County participate in the California 9/11 memorial service.

Will Jimeno, Port Authority officer and first responder, shared his survival testimony as the memorial’s first guest speaker. He vocalizes his thoughts on the vitality of keeping 9/11’s memory alive. “We need everyone here to not only say never forget, we need you to pass this on to our future generation,” Jimeno says. “I want everyone to remember something, that the American flag is not made out of cloth it is made out of the blood of true patriots that come from all walk of life, all skin colors, all religions, all political views. We are free because of that flag.” 

The idea of remembrance has lived on. The day of such tragedy slowly becomes history, and the words “never forget” take on a new meaning. It comes to the attention that as the new generation starts to fill into the narrative of the now, the events of 9/11 become a chapter in a textbook rather than the traumatic experience that millions of Americans once endured.

Police officers from the Fresno Clovis area honor the fallen heroes’ of 9/11.

Junior Grace Mynderup had the opportunity to visit the Clovis memorial and reflect on the educational value that has been lost by the current generation. “I think that the idea of remembering 9/11 is becoming too normal. Over the years we keep celebrating to celebrate but we lose the true meaning of what happened,” Mynderup says. “I wasn’t educated enough to understand, yet going to the memorial I learned more and was able to have a better grasp of what happened and why we remember.”

The regularity of life may go on, but that is why it is so crucial that we recognize the people who could not go on with their “normal lives” after that day. The 2,977 souls that were lost and their families forced to go on without them are why we never forget. The first responders who were witnesses of the horrific aftermath willingly involved themselves to fulfill their oath of conserving life is why we never forget. The brave military officers who served on foreign grounds to help defend democracy and stability for our country and worldwide, they are why we will never forget. No matter how many days separate us from the day 9/11/01, we as a country have vowed to never forget!

To read more from The Feather check out Leadership kicks off school year with fall activities or New teachers welcomed for 2023-24 school year.

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About the Contributors
Danielle Arndt
Danielle Arndt, Editor
Second-year journalist, Danielle Arndt, ‘26, continues her journey as a returning writer for The Feather Online. Arndt believes in the importance of integrity, dedicating herself wholly to whatever she puts her mind to. Self-proclaimed movie enthusiast, she loves immersing herself in the cinematic world, hiding from reality. Writing has always been the way she could express herself and the stories living rent-free in her mind. Arndt aspires to be an author, she cannot hold her excitement to grow in the fields of journalism.
Mallory Friesen
Mallory Friesen, Photo Editor
Mallory Friesen returns to The Feather for her second year as a photojournalist hoping to improve her skills. As a ‘lifer’ at Fresno Christian, you can find her on the soccer field or cheer mat. Friesen hopes to attend college and continue her creativity by traveling the world and using her photography skills. 
Benson Elbert
Benson Elbert, Photojournalist
Benson Elbert, ‘26 is an aspiring first year photojournalist for The Feather. Elbert aspires to improve his writing and photography skills with help from the team. He has worked in his family's breakfast restaurant, Batter Up Pancakes,  since he was a kid. Elbert has also led the campus through the leadership class since his freshman year, hoping to continue to lead till senior year. After high school he aspires to be a computer programmer and design videogames.
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  • M

    Madeleine DurhamSep 18, 2023 at 11:22 am

    It’s written so good! Good job, D. The photos are also good Mallory!

  • M

    miracle.nealSep 18, 2023 at 10:10 am

    Beautifully written Dani!