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Each Hollister fire station observed a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11 in memory of first responders and those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. 13 years ago. Later in the the day, local military veterans were to host a 4 p.m. ceremony at the Veteran’s Memorial Building on San Benito Street.

Hollister resident and retired San Jose police officer Karol Burke attended the memorial cereomony at Fire Station No. 2 at the corner of Union Road and Airline Highway, drawn by the need to honor those who served by spending time with her fellow first-responders.

“I remember (Sept. 11, 2001) very well,” said Burke, who was on duty that day. “I remember going to work and thinking ‘were we next out here on the west coast.'”

Burke recalled the Port Authority officers she met on a visit to the World Trade Center in 2001 and that she was extremely disappointed for not remembering their names to see if they were casualties of the attack on the towers. She later learned about and participated in an annual 9-11 memorial motorcyle ride that pays tribute to the first responders and innocent civilians who died as a result of the attacks.

“Every year, those memories all come rushing back,” said Burke, after local firefighters read a brief message listing the number of first responders killed in duty in New York on 9/11, lowered the flag to half-staff, and observed a moment of silence. “It’s very somber; very hard, but also very good to remember how we came togeather as a country and stood by one another. I saw the fire department was having a moment of remembrance and I thought what better place to be than with other first responders and other people who still continue their duty and continue to protect the people of this country.” 

San Benito High School Future Farmers of America students paid tribute to the victims of 9/11 by placing nearly 3,000 flags — each representing a life lost — in the shape of  9/11 on the grassy Senior Mound at the center of campus.