CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) — Hundreds of people gathered in Clovis for the California 9/11 Memorial on Wednesday.
Crowds gathered near Schneider Electric this morning for the largest 9/11 remembrance ceremony on the West Coast.
“It’s hard,” said Andy Isolano. “I lost 13 friends. 13 names on that tower are good friends of mine, but we remember and we respect them and give them the honor they deserve.”
Former New York City Firefighter and September 11th survivor Andy Isolano was a part of the very first California 9/11 Memorial.
“I came out here for the original event and it saved my life,” said Isolano.
The annual event was first started by the late David McDonald, the owner of what was once Pelco.
McDonald initially chartered five planes of first responders from New York to Fresno to thank them for their service and celebrate their bravery.
Thanks to McDonald, this ceremony had a whole new meaning.
Wednesday’s event highlighted the memorials newest additions, a miniature replica of the twin towers and bronze statue of the first responders.
“The whole concept of revitalizing this memorial is to remind people about 9.12,” added Isolano. “9/11 was terrible, but 9/12 we were all Americans. This country came together, it didn’t matter where you came from or what you looked like we were all Americans.”
During the ceremony the audience heard actual radio dispatch from the tragic day in 2001, followed by sirens and the lowering of the flag.
Organizers hope to use the new memorial to educate future generations about what happened 18 years ago.