“Never forget”

“May we never have to suffer such a heinous, cowardly, and hateful act yet again.”

Richard Lamontagne, chaplain of the Griswold Mountain Detachment Marine Corps Leage, started Friday’s Patriot Day observances at Oakhurst Community Park with that simple message.

To honor the service of veterans and all those who gave their lives during the horrifying attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, around 125 people gathered during the morning ceremonies for a day of song, speech, and remembrance.

Lt. Col. David Hall, a Coarsegold resident and Executive Officer for the 40th Combat Aviation Brigade of the California National Guard, reminded everyone of the famous words after those attacks during his keynote speech.

“Never forget 9/11,” Hall said. “That was our rallying cry after the 19 hijackers took four planes and flew them into the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania ... it was the volunteer spirit of the American people, and the desire to help others, that helped us get through the weeks ahead.”

The event was sponsored by Sierra Tel, with apple pie and ice cream enjoyed by many after the morning’s events.