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Lansing veterans honor Lansing Police and Fire in private 9/11 service on 9/12

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (September 12, 2021) – More than a dozen members of the Lansing Police Department and Lansing Fire Department gathered at the Lansing Veterans Memorial on Sunday afternoon, September 12. They were greeted by members of the Lansing Veterans Memorial Ceremonial Honor Guard (LVMCHG), and the ceremony began with a recording of the Star-Spangled Banner. Honor Guard member John Ulaszek read a prayer and shared memories of the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City; Washington, DC; and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The American flag and a special 9/11 flag were then lowered to half mast.

Deputy Fire Chief John Grady (left) and Chief Chad Kooyenga respectfully observe the lowering of the flags to half mast during Sunday’s 9/11 ceremony. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Following the brief ceremony, Honor Guard member Rich Dominiak invited the first responders to pose for a photograph with the 9/11 flag.

Lansing first responders pose with a 9/11 flag depicting the Pentagon, the Twin Towers, and Flight 93. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Honor Guard member Clara Gonzalez was stationed at the 32nd Street Naval Base in San Diego on September 11, 2001. She had just walked in to the base that morning, ready for duty, when the base went on immediate lockdown. Gonzalez was 24 at the time, a young recruit at the bottom of the chain of command. All she knew was what she heard from her comrades as they scurried to secure the base: “The Twin Towers were hit!”

“It was a very intense moment,” she remembers. “But I was ready to defend my country then, and I would do the same today — especially if it means saving innocent lives.”

The Lansing Veterans Memorial is located at the southeast corner of Burnham Avenue and Glenwood-Lansing Road.

The Lansing Firefighters Memorial is on the north side of Ridge Road, west of Henry Street.

Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. Why this was post-poned until the 12th was ridiculous, the Fetching Market ? Really? It was the 20th Anniversary and someone postponed it for that? Considering the Mayor is Retired Army, as well as a police officer, is just so disheartening.

    • disheartened, the decision to postpone the event was made by Rich Dominiak and the Honor Guard. They were offered the use of Fox Pointe, the Lansing Municipal Center, and the Lansing Firefighters Memorial to hold their ceremony on September 11, and they chose instead to change the day of the ceremony rather than the location.

      • My point is they shouldn’t have had to relocate. They should have been the priority. Not the market. They could have opened

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