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