Remembering 9/11 |

Remembering 9/11

“Thank you first responders,“ states a card handmade by a Union Hill School student.

It was among over 200 cards — some with drawings of fire personnel, police, and health care workers — made by students for the school’s Patriot Day held Friday.

“All Union Hill students, along with teaching and support staff, gathered together at the start of the day to commemorate the heroes of 9/11,” Union Hill School secretary Kim Boundy said in an email. “On the twentieth anniversary of this national tragedy, local first responders were honored for the daily sacrifices they make to keep our communities safe.”

Today is the 20th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center.

According to Boundy, while the event typically looks like a close gathering around the school’s flag, this year’s Patriot Day was held in a more spread out manner across the school’s blacktop in order to keep it within COVID-19 distancing guidelines.

“The cards were just amazing,” said Boundy. “They were just so heartfelt and so appreciated by our first responders.”

Firefighters with the Ophir Hill Fire Protection District as well as members of the Nevada County Probation Department were present, and according to Boundy, student-made cards and gift baskets organized by the Parent Teacher Club were presented to them as well as sent to the county Sheriff’s Office and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital.

Union Hill School Principal Joe Limov said the Patriot Day activities on Friday — which included a flag salute led by a first grade class, the national anthem played by the school’s Bearcat Band, and student-read poems — are aimed toward showing students that patriotism “comes in many forms.”

“So, when we celebrate Patriot Day we talk about that — first, we start with caring for our school, and then caring for our community, and then caring for our state and then our nation, so they can see the level that they can understand it at, which is their school,” said Limov.

“So, their efforts here to show that they care for their school, they’re going to grow up to be adults who care for their city, their country, and so on.”

Limov said this was the ninth year of Patriot Day at Union Hill School. Twenty years ago, on 9/11, he was just beginning as an administrator at Seven Hills School in Nevada City.

“My very first year as an administrator … a month into the job was 9/11, and so I think for all of us, we say the world changed on that moment in so many ways,” said Limov. “And so with schools, in terms of how safety conscious we are and all of those things, it really becomes personal for many people.”


The American Legion Post 130 will hold a remembrance event today in honor of those who were killed in the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as in the subsequent war in Afghanistan.

At the event, Supervisor and Army veteran Dan Miller is scheduled to speak.

“You were kind of stunned to what you were seeing on the TV and what was happening,” Miller said Friday about his reaction to learning of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks at the time.

As airlines were grounding their flights, and Americans received each subsequent piece of news of the attacks that day, said Miller, it was “almost numbing” to watch what was happening.

Supervisor Ed Scofield recalls the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 as an emotional time for many.

“I just remember, of course it was a huge tragedy that caught everybody’s mind,” he said. “I think there were concerns about what could follow up.”

At the time, Scofield was CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds, which was set to hold the Draft Horse Classic shortly after the attacks took place.

“What I remember about that was our maintenance team put up these large, black ribbon bows on the big light standards that light up the arena, as a reminder,” said Scofield, adding that local fire departments “passed the boot” during the four-day event, raising money to send to New York.

The Board of Supervisors plans to hold a moment of silence at its upcoming meeting Tuesday for those who lost their lives during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Victoria Penate is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at


What: Sept. 11 ceremony

When: 10 a.m. today

Where: Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building, at 255 South Auburn St.

Tribute in Lights, two vertical columns of light representing the fallen towers of the World Trade Center, shine against the lower Manhattan skyline. Today is the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Associated Press
Each year, Union Hill School holds a Patriot Day on or near the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Submitted by Kim Boundy
American Legion Second Vice Commander Pete Vasilakos thanks fellow veterans in attendance of the 2019 9/11 commemoration ceremony.
Elias Funez/
American Legion Frank Gallino Post 130 honor guard members take part in a 21-gun volley to honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks during the 2019 ceremony in front of the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building.
Elias Funez/
Dressed in historic firefighter attire, retired Nevada County Supervisor and Fire Chief Hank Weston recalls the reaction his firefighters had to the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Weston stands behind a shirt that was traded to him from members of FDNY following the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Elias Funez/
Local first responders observe a moment of silence for Grass Valley native Chris Stevens, who was a U.S. ambassador and one of four Americans killed in the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi Libya.
Elias Funez/

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