Nevada County commemorates 9-11 with memorial ceremony (VIDEO/PHOTO GALLERY) |

Nevada County commemorates 9-11 with memorial ceremony (VIDEO/PHOTO GALLERY)

“Our job is to never forget.”

That was the message delivered by former Nevada County Supervisor — and former Cal Fire Chief — Hank Weston to the crowd attending a 9/11 memorial at the Grass Valley Veterans’ Memorial Building Wednesday morning.

“We all remember where we were at a certain time,” Weston said. “Pearl Harbor. When Kennedy was shot. 9-11.”

Weston told the audience, many of whom were there representing local law enforcement and fire agencies, that more than 400 of those killed that day were first responders.

“Every day, first responders are serving the public to increase their quality of life,” he said. “We feel safe because we know somebody will show up. Every day, they put their lives on the line to try to protect our citizens.”

Weston highlighted Nevada County’s response to the tragedy, which included raising nearly $90,000 by passing the boot at the Draft Horse Classic, among other efforts. Those funds were hand-delivered by a delegation from the Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council, led by Bill and Susan Drown.

“The outpouring was just amazing, to have raised that amount in two days,” Drown recalled. “The people in New York were amazed, that this little town delivered this money by hand.”

During that trip, Drown visited Ground Zero, saying, “I just cried. It was so devastating.”

Wednesday’s ceremony also honored the victims of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on Benghazi. Post 130 Commander Claude Hessel read the list of victims, which included Grass Valley native son Ambassador Chris Stevens, before asking the crowd for a moment of silence.

Afterward, six veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam attending from Brunswick Village were brought forward for recognition, as well as coffee and doughnuts. The trip to the memorial was organized by Brunswick Village employee Kristen Day, who is a member of the American Legion.

“Brunswick Village only has 60 residents and 16 are veterans,” Day said, adding, “I wanted to bring as many as I could.”

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4236.

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