Local firefighters to fly historic flag in honor of 9/11 first responders

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the Central Valley prepares to honor the lives lost on 9/11, local volunteer firefighters are planning to fly a historic flag in memory of those who were killed.

The Auberry Volunteer Fire Department plans to fly an American flag that was last flown from Ladder 10 of the New York Fire Department over the World Trade Center site 20 years ago.

The flag was gifted to them by the late Fresno philanthropist David McDonald, who flew more than 1,000 9/11 first responders to the Valley to honor them after the attacks, and who felt that the Auberry department should be entrusted with the historic flag.

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Rick Schacher, the chief of the department, had the idea to fly the flag over Cressman's on Saturday. He says it's an opportunity to remind the Valley of the unity that was needed 20 years ago and is still needed today in an area that was scorched by the Creek Fire in 2020.

"It's just to me that sign of hope, that sign of resiliency, that sign that we're still here, we're still strong and we're not going anywhere," Schacher said.

The Auberry department will be joined by other volunteer fire departments for the ceremony, which is set for 8 AM on Saturday at Cressman's General Store.

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"It's really important to honor those guys and show them our respect for the heroes who were there and also the people who put on a uniform every day," said Ty Gillett, owner of Cressman's General Store.

The public is welcome to attend.
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