LAUGHLIN — The Richard Springston American Legion Post 60 in Laughlin honored first responders last month, on the 18th anniversary of 9/11.
Members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Laughlin Substation, representatives of the Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Highway Patrol Division and personnel from the Laughlin stations of the Clark County Fire Department were on hand to receive a lunch and thanks from members of the post for their bravery and sacrifice on a daily basis while serving the residents and guests of Laughlin.
Post Commander Pam Walker, Chaplain Victoria Connelly, and Post member Barbara Bodley hosted the event honoring the first responders on what is now National Emergency First Responders Day in America since being so decreed in 2017.
The day also is known as Patriots Day and honors the 2,977 people, including 343 firefighters, 71 law enforcement officers and 55 military personnel, who lost their lives in New York City, the Pentagon and rural Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001, in the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor.
The Post honored those who “rush toward danger” rather than run from it. That includes emergency medical personnel, search and rescue and others who risk their lives to keep others safe.
The ceremony started with an introduction of the day by Walker, the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer by Connelly.
Bodley stated the purpose of the day’s event, thanking the first responders who were able to attend and also those who could not make it due to duty. Bodley mentioned the recent emergencies that Laughlin has faced recently such as the Big Bend wildfire, in which Clark County Fire Department and seven other agencies all ran toward the scene when Laughlin and several structures were in harm’s way and the recent attempted casino robbery and tragic shooting of the perpetrator by Metro SWAT units, both of which happened within 24 hours of each other.
A memorial video was played on the Post monitor as well , reminding all in attendance of the tragic events in 2001. Town Manager Brian Paulson spoke, saying “Public safety is a calling, a duty.”
That sentiment was echoed by Mark Roblado, a retired Pomona, California, police officer, who works for the township of Laughlin.
Some of the first responders gave testimony of their own personal ties to that day. One was Officer Gallagher of LVMPD, who told his own story of his sister’s narrow escape that day. Gallagher said his sister worked on the 82nd floor of Tower 2 at the World Trade Center complex, but that she was always late for work. Fortunately, she was late for work on 9/11, he said, and when she finally got to the complex, she was told to “Get out of there.”
A harrowing but lucky tale of a survivor of that fateful day.
A veteran from New York who was at the Post stepped up to say that the events of that day touched us all and that “on Sept. 12, we were all united.”
“We need that unity back today,” he added.