"Freedom Walk" in Lemoore

Fresno, CA, USA More than 5-hundred people of all ages braved a mid morning sun to honor the lives lost 7 years ago today. School kids, a marching band, babies in strollers, public safety folks, veterans and everyday citizens. All with a single purpose. I asked a young man in military uniform as he pushed his son's stroller, "What does something like this mean to someone wearing a uniform today?" He paused for a long while. It's not an easy question to answer on the day that changed the course of America's Armed Forces. The catastrophic event put everyone in a uniform on a new level of alert and at war. It also meant more time away from loved ones. Thankfully for Navy Chief Aaron Brandes of NAS Lemoore he was home when his son was born this past April. "What can I say?" he answered and paused again. "Mmmmm. What can you say about something like this? It's something you really have to do."

Once assembled at Lemoore City Park a color guard presented its flags to open the ceremonies as a lone bagpipe sent the strains of Amazing Grace across the warm breeze. This was a day to take time to remember, honor and share a common purpose: to never to forget what happened on September 11th, 2001.

It was also a day to listen to the young voices of the Lemoore High Choir sing the national anthem, "Oh say can you see by the dawn's early light ..." A number of speakers would follow, but two soldiers who have been there and done that told it like it was and both received applause.

Captain Terry Slatic, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves recounted his time in Iraq, "We went there with 185 and we came back with 185 and we were based in a little place called Fallujah that many of you may have heard of." U.S. Army Lt. Col. Rick Ellis told the crowd, "The members of the military will never forget the support we get from all the Americans, ok? We owe you thanks for supporting us."

Many of the teenagers here, who were too young 7 years ago to fully comprehend the events of 9/11, now, understand. Lemoore High School student Erica Ashby remembers the day it happened but didn't comprehend it until she was older, "I love coming to things like this and seeing that so many people feel the same as I do."

When your dad's a navy doctor serving in Iraq it's good to feel support from those around you and to return it in kind. "He just talks about how everyone there is united in their cause." Support was tangible at this Freedom Walk in Central California.


abc30 News Links:
Links to other news sections on our website.


Breaking News Alerts:
Click Here to Sign-Up for Breaking News E-Mail Alerts
Receive Breaking News alerts in your email inbox.

Click Here to Sign-Up for Text Message Alerts
Receive Breaking News alerts right on your cell phone.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.