The Valley remembers September 11th, 10 years later

FRESNO, Calif.

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From those who weren't even born---to others who will never forget---the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks brings with it a strong sense of unity and pride.

"9/11 for all its horror did not change who we are or what we stand for"

Only two people spoke during Sunday's ceremony. While their words moved this crowd of several hundred people, the real emotion came from watching the symbols of patriotism, and listening to the sounds of that day.

"Paging one hose, World Trade Center, 10-60, send every available ambulance, everything you got to the world trade center now."

Andy Isolano, a former New York firefighter said, "When that comes on, it's kinda hard for me, it's kinda hard for me, it brings me back to that day."

Andy Isolano was working as a New York City Firefighter during the World Trade Center attacks. He has since relocated to the Fresno/Clovis area.

Isolano's mother flew in from the East Coast to attend Sunday's service. Even ten years later, she says it's still difficult to hear her son talk about his experience. "Because he cries and I cry, and I couldn't believe too much, no."

Mac Carr of Fresno says she often cries, as well, for the nearly three thousand people who lost their lives ten years ago today. "And who knew it was going to become a tragedy, but even if they had known, I think those firemen would've gone into that building, and I think the police officers would have gone in. I think they would have done it the exact same way because they wanted to save somebody."

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In Northeast Fresno, hundreds gathered to remember the victims of 9/11 at Todd Beamer Park. Beamer was a Former Fresno State Student who died on Flight 93. He's remembered for saying "let's roll" before passengers tried to overtake the hijackers on their plane.

During today's service, two F-16 fighter jets flew over the park in honor of those who died.

Other Valley families who lost loved ones on 9/11 spent the day remembering.

Shari Tolbert was at the Pentagon Sunday. Her husband worked there and was killed on 9/11.

The family of Timothy Ward, who was killed in New York, declined to attend any 9/11 event this year.

In Mariposa County there was an unveiling for a September 11th Memorial.

Several pieces of the World Trade Centers arrived from New York earlier this year. They are now being fashioned into a sculpture to honor everyone who died.

The way the metal has been welded together is symbolic of the date of the attacks. The four pieces lie at nine, 11, 20 and one degrees -- symbolizing the date September 11th, 2001. The sculpture will eventually become the centerpiece of a permanent memorial at Mariposa's Art Park.

While many attended public memorials, others honored the victims of 9/11 during church services.

At the Unitarian Universalist Church, members welcomed the director of Fresno's Islamic Cultural Center who spoke about the challenges Muslims have faced over the last decade. Kamal Abu-Shamsieh says the country has come a long way since 9/11, but there are still opportunities to better understand the Islamic culture. "One on one is the best way to change minds to move away from stereotypes and intimidation into unifying a country that is polarized.

Abu-Shamsieh said the Valley in particular is very diverse and has embraced acceptance. Still, he says, more can be done because ignorance can tear communities apart.

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