Honoring the fallen heroes of 9/11

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By Takahiro Kurosaki / Staff Writer, Sandra Rodriguez / Staff Writer

By Takahiro Kurosaki / Staff Writer, Sandra Rodriguez / Staff Writer

The ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks was commemorated by the sixth annual event Support Our Troops; a Tribute to Our Fallen Soldiers, Remembering Our Heroes of 9/11 and the Families, at Fairmount Park in Riverside on Sept. 11.

By businesses setting up booths and exhibitions, and a band playing music, people remembered those whose lives were lost on 9/11 and honored those who worked hard to rescue the injured.

“We come out here to remember our heroes and to support our troops,” said Mary Badalamente, the host of the event and the representative of Moms of Military Prayer Support Group of Riverside Chapter of Inland Empire.

“We’re so proud of all the businesses, all the volunteers and all the different clubs that come together,” Badalamente said.

Hosting the event, the of mothers and female relatives whose loved ones are serving in the Armed Forces, encouraged local people and businesses to take part in the event so that they could support the event and their troops.

“It reminds people of what happened on 9/11 and reminds people why we are at war,” said Roberta Cook.

She has belonged to Moms of Military Prayer Support Group since 2005 due to her son being actively enrolled and overseas on and off for the past five years.

The First Composite Group Association attended the event as a sponsor for their first time with a portable museum displaying World War II history.

“It (the event) is in honor of our troops,” said Col. Paul Kiener, the chief of staff. “A lot of the veterans that were in the Vietnam War were not respected when they came home …so now they pay patriotism as a term no matter whether you’re for the war or against the war were still going to support our troops, our young men and women overseas that are fighting for our freedom.”

The event raised awareness in the younger generation.

Michael Enomoto a senior and Nicolas Munoz a freshman of the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, attend the event every year as a part of servicing the community.

“9/11 brought a lot of Americanism to a lot of people young and old,” Enomoto said.

Munoz discussed his pride at the nation’s immediate reaction to 9/11.

“It shows how a country could come together and how strong a nation could be,” Munoz said. “It also made me proud to be a part of this nation and made me want to join the JROTC.”

Badalamente knows how important the continued support of the younger generation is.

“We’d like to have the younger generations come out and support because they are who are fighting our war now,” Badalamente said.

“We just try to give back to our community and bring our community in, so they remember the special days in our history and support one another,” Badalamente said.

At night the event held a candle light ceremony for the fallen soldiers and the victims of 9/11 and the MOMS also revealed two more fallen soldiers.

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