AMBOY – The clear blue sky on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 was reminiscent of the sky on another Tuesday, Sept. 11, 17 years ago when tragedy struck our country. The crowd gathered at the Amboy Fire Station was there to remember the sacrifice that First Responders made that day in service to their community and for the victims at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Shanksville, PA.
Fire Chief Jeff Bryant welcomed the group and introduced Fire Department Chaplain Brian McWethy, Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church. Chaplain McWethy opened the evening event with a prayer.
The Amboy Fire Department Color Guard, Jason Ramos, Dalton Nuttall, Jaclynn Yanez, Savannah Hewing, and Kourtney Kobilsek presented the colors and were accompanied by bag piper, Amboy FPD Asst. Chief Duane Dickison.
Bryant reminded the crowd of the number of citizens that lost their lives in the attacks and of the First Responders that gallantly charged into burning buildings to help those trapped inside.
The Hicks Quartet, First Baptist Church of Amboy, sang “I Love This Land” and the Grace Fellowship Worship Team sang “Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone”. Bag piper, Duane Dickison played “Amazing Grace”.
Amboy Mayor John Schamberger welcomed the crowd and reminded them of the sacrifice that many made on that day and that this ceremony was all about them.
Pastor Rocky Fritz, First Baptist Church Amboy, gave the keynote address. Pastor Mark Glenn, United First Church Amboy and Pastor Rick Wulf, East Grove Union Church, also made brief remarks.
Firefighter Morgan Carlson read the Fireman’s Prayer and Police Chief Jeff Blake read “The Final Inspection” honoring First Responders that have served their communities.
Tammy Bryant rang the bell, three sets of three strikes, in remembrance of those that did not return to the firehouse following the dispatch to serve.
The Grace Fellowship Worship Team, Makayla McWethy, Micah Sumner and Brianna Shields sang “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning”.
Those assembled then moved outside for the conclusion of the ceremony.
Retired Chief John McGraw and Lifetime Member Bob Faivre placed a stone at the flagpole in recognition of those who have served and are no longer with us.
Pastors Brian McWethy, Rick Wulf, Rocky Fritz and Mark Glenn read the timeline of that September morning when 2,996 people died. Balloons were given to the crowd and they were asked to hold them until after a moment of silence. Chief Bryant asked everyone to observe a moment of silence for the victims of 9-11 and for anyone else that is no longer with us.
He then asked everyone to release the balloons.
The Amboy American Legion Post #453 provided a military salute and taps was play by Ted Fredenhagen. Makayla McWethy sang “The Star Spangled Banner” to end the ceremony.