The Edmond Sun

September 11, 2013

UCO thanks metro first responders on Sept. 11

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Members of the University of Central Oklahoma community began their remembrances of Sept. 11 by placing 2,500 American flags around Broncho Lake.

Wednesday afternoon, teams of volunteers met on the campus and visited the Edmond Police Department and fire stations here and in the metro area to show the university’s appreciation for their work and service, said Share Hynes, director of UCO’s Volunteer and Learning Center, the main sponsor.

UCO freshmen Lauren Walker, of Tahlequah, and Brady Sowell, of Choctaw, members of UCO’s President’s Leadership Council, dropped off a massive tray of cookies and a home-made “thank you” banner to Edmond’s Fire Station 1, 925 E. Second St., and EPD headquarters, 23 E. 1st St. Other students were visiting the city’s other stations.

“It’s definitely a reward in itself,” Walker said. “To give back to them for all they do is something special.”

Sowell said the service event helps students in the program develop leadership skills. It also gives them a chance to show their fellow students what it means to be a leader in today’s world, Sowell said.

Edmond Fire Chief Jake Rhoades said Sept. 11 serves as a constant reminder of the sacrifices ordinary men and women made on that extraordinary day.

On Sept. 11, 2001, after terrorist hijackers flew passenger planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, first responders of all types converged on the scenes while civilians fled for their lives. The dead included personnel from the New York City Fire Department, the New York City Police Department and the Port Authority Police Department.

“These individuals made the ultimate sacrifice to save countless thousands knowing their outcome was already determined,” Rhoades said.

Members of the fire service remember and honor the 343 firefighters who died, Rhoades said. The lesson learned is to stay prepared regardless of the emergency and to always remember, he said.



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