Friday Harbor honors fallen heroes in 'Day of Remembrance'

Francis Smith of San Juan EMS rings a ceremonial bell at the conclusion of a
Francis Smith of San Juan EMS rings a ceremonial bell at the conclusion of a 'Remembrance Ceremony', an observance of the 12 anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Wednesday, in Friday Harbor.
— image credit: Steve Wehrly

San Juan County Sheriff's Department detective Lachlan Buchanan's eyewitness account of his 9/11 experience as a New York City policeman was met with rapt attention by a crowd of 75 at the "Day of Remembrance and Service" at Memorial Park Sept. 11.

"Everyone remembers where we were and what we were doing," said Buchanan, as he recounted his experience, which included helping a woman in labor who gave birth that day, perhaps a fitting vignette for a day that brought death and destruction — and new life — to America.

In observance of the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Mayor Carrie Lacher read a proclamation, which said in part: By our simple act of gathering here today, we mourn everyone who perished too suddenly; honor the incredible bravery and sacrifice by those who heroically responded during and after the event; and thank those who remain committed to protecting the freedoms that are the foundation of America."

Robin De La Zerda followed the formal proclamation with a personal appeal, asking islanders to answer the deaths of 9/11 with "deeds of kindness." De La Zerda, a sheriff's department dispatcher, called on all those present to perform one deed of kindness, and e-mail the deed and "how it impacts you and the community" to her at

A moment of silence, 15 solemn tolls of a brass bell on a vintage Cadillac fire truck and a "Charge to Move Forward" from Fire Chief Steve Marler ended the ceremony.

— Steve Wehrly



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