Remembering 9-11 — a decade later

Churches and fire departments to hold remembrance events

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A fountain in downtown Camas includes a plaque in memory of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, "The day that changed our lives." Several local events will commemorate the 10th anniversary.

The Camas and Washougal communities will honor local emergency personnel while remembering the individuals who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Several remembrance events are planned for this weekend.

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church to hold a “Blue Mass”

Camas, Washougal and Skamania County police, fire and other public safety personnel, families, friends and the community are invited to attend a 10th year memorial at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.

A “Blue Mass” will be held Saturday, at 9 a.m., with Fr. Matthew Oakland serving as the celebrant. Individuals of all faiths are invited to attend.

The mass to honor police, fire and emergency medical personnel will be attended by Camas Mayor Scott Higgins, Washougal Mayor Sean Guard, Camas Police Chief Mitch Lackey and Washougal Police Chief Ron Mitchell. Refreshments will be provided after the service.

The church is located at 324 N.E. Oak St. For more information, call 834-2126 or visit

Camas and Washougal firefighters and paramedics invite public to ceremony

A formal ceremony will be held Sunday, at 8 a.m., in front of the Camas Public Library, 625 N.E. Fourth Ave.

A flag will be presented at half mast, and there will be a ringing of the fire bell. Afterwards, the Camas and Washougal Professional Firefighters Union Local 2444 will host a breakfast inside the library. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Chris Richardson, a firefighter/paramedic with the Camas Fire Department, is organizing the event.

“This being the 10-year anniversary does bring up strong emotions,” he said. “I just want people to remember two things — the brave men and women who selflessly gave their lives to try and save others and that firefighters all over are still doing the same job.”

CFD Chief Nick Swinhart also reflected on Sept. 11.

“It was an event that has permanently changed our world and certainly the fire fighting profession as a whole,” he said. “As we always do when 9-11 arrives, we’ll be taking the time to remember our brothers and sisters from New York who lost their lives in the line of duty.”

For more information, call the CFD at 834-2262 or visit

East County Fire & Rescue to present dinner and luminaria ceremony

ECFR personnel will once again honor the memory of the firefighters and first responders who lost their lives with a luminaria ceremony.

It will be held at 8 p.m., at Fern Prairie Fire Station 91, 600 N.E. 267th Avenue, Camas.

The ceremony, which is open to the public, will include the lighting of luminarias, music by the Vancouver Pipe and Drum Corps, a moment of silence and dessert reception.

ECFR Chief Scott Koehler said September 11 is a sad reminder of the thousands of people who lost their lives 10 years ago.

“We remember them all — yet we recall and honor the 343 firefighters and other first responders who tried to help those endangered by the events of that terrible day,” he said.

Prior to the ceremony, there will be a spaghetti dinner fund raiser hosted by the ECFR Volunteer Firefighter Association.

Spaghetti, tossed salad, garlic bread and punch will be served from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Donations will be accepted. For more information, call 834-4908 or 835-5511.

Riverside to host lunch for EMS personnel

Riverside SDA Church will host a free event for local firefighters, paramedics and police officers.

Emergency medical services personnel and their families are invited to attend a lunch and program Sunday, from 1 to 5 p.m., at Riverside Seventh-day Adventist Church, 423 N. Shepherd Road, Washougal.

Hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers and veggie hot dogs, as well as salads, cookies and ice cream, will be served. There will be drawings for several “American Hero” belt buckles.

For more information or to RSVP, call the church office at 835-3114 or visit

VFW and auxiliary members to honor firefighters

American flags will be posted along the streets of downtown Camas and Washougal Sunday, by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4278.

VFW members also plan to visit local fire stations, and the Ladies Auxiliary will deliver baskets.

For more information, call Bob Hitchcock at 260-7879.

Clark Regional Emergency Services to host open house

“National Preparedness Month” will be recognized at the CRESA annual open house.

The event will be held Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 710 W. 13th St., Vancouver.

It will include an opportunity to tour the 9-1-1 center and watch dispatchers take emergency calls. There will be representatives from the Homeland Security Program, a National Weather Service meteorologist, a county mapping expert and amateur radio technical experts. Parents can pick up free Child ID kits.

Hot dogs, pizza, chips and beverages, donated by area businesses, will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be face painting, button making and a “thank you first responders” coloring station.

The open house will also include demonstrations from police K-9 teams, SWAT and search and rescue groups. Attendees can explore public safety vehicles such as an armored personnel carrier, a heavy rescue vehicle, fire engines, ambulances and police command vehicles.

For more information, call 737-1911.