Captured Event

August, 06 2011 - 911: We Remember to Never Forget

What: Freedom remembrance featuring special guests, New York firefighters

Where: Center for American Values and Riverwalk, Pueblo

When: Saturday, August 6, 2011

Time: 3-10 p.m.

Ticket Prices: free

EMCEE: Cowboy Poet Jeff Hildebrandt

Gala Chairperson(s): Pueblo Fire Chief Chris Riley, Pueblo Police Chief Luis Velez

Founders: Drew Dix, Brad Padula

Staff: Tom Allee, Vice President of Community Relations and Development; Trish Rooney, Special Project Manager; Gina Paradiso, Program Coodinator

Music: Steve Amerson, America's Tenor; Overton Road Band

Sponsors: Frontier Airlines, Parkview Medical Center, Media Center, Waterfront at the Riverwalk, Comcast, 95.5 KPHT, Y96.9, Park West Dental, My Friend the Printer, The Pueblo Chieftain, Military Cable ADS Inc., T & T Electronic, USAA, Loaf & Jug, Evraz, Colorado Technical University, Little Caesar's Pizza, Legacy Bank, Marriott Pueblo, Intero Office Solutions, American Medical Response, Benefits Broker, Standard Sales Co. Southern Colorado, Pepsi, New Image Drywall, Pueblo Community College, Pueblo Medal of Honor Foundation, Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, Buffalo Wild Wings, Ent, City of Pueblo

Quote of the evening: "A nation who forgets its heroes will soon be forgotten itself." --Calvin Coolidge

Attire: Casual

Board of Directors: Brad Padula, Drew Dix, Susan Smith, Bob Root

MilitaryEvents.US Photos by: Pamela Cress

 Medal of Honor recipient Drew Dix, left, FDNY Battalion Chief John Plant, Gary Sinise and FDNY Lt Mike Galgano
Medal of Honor recipient Drew Dix, left, FDNY Battalion Chief John Plant, Gary Sinise and FDNY Lt Mike Galgano
View all photos

2,753 people were killed in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, including 343 New York City firefighters. The brave individuals who gave their all to rescue over 10,000 people were honored this week in a special commemorative event, "9/11: We Remember Never to Forget."

The Center for American Values, which promotes the tenets of "honor, integrity and patriotism" did just that in welcoming nine FDNY firefighters, Pueblo's own Medal of Honor recipient Drew Dix and actor Gary Sinise to the Home of Heroes this weekend.

Dix, who is a co-founder of the Center for American Values, is a good friend of actor Sinise, who has been a tireless supporter of military efforts, and when they were together in California for an event, Dix met some members of the FDNY. "I wanted to bring them here to Pueblo to meet all of you," he told the crowd gathered on the Riverwalk to witness the flawless program. Not only were the firefighters and Pueblo's own first responders presented to the crowd, but attendees were treated to the antics of cowboy poet Jeff Hildebrandt, the foot-stomping tunes of Overton Road (whose members include Brad Padula, another co-founder of the Center for American Values) and the incredible talent of "America's Tenor," Steve Amerson.

Event attendees were urged to visit the Center, which opened its doors last November in order to promote core values by providing a state of the art venue for educational forums and meetings. A special VIP reception was held on the top floor of the Center overlooking the Riverwalk. Political leaders, first responders, business and military dignitaries and sponsors were anxious to meet the members of FDNY, ask them about their experiences and purchase FDNY memorabelia. Brooklyn fire Battalion Chief John Plant spoke for the group and talked about the incredible amount of support that came from everywhere after the attacks. "We witnessed the true meaning of patriotism on 9/11," he said. 

Pueblo Police Chief Luis Velez is a New York City native and still has family in Manhattan. Pueblo Fire Chief Chris Riley travelled to New York to help out during the aftermath of 9/11. These two Pueblo leaders were co-chairs of this weekend's events.

In what seems to be a common sentiment in those we recognize as heroes, the firefighers all expressed thanks to everyone else surrounding them. "We express our sincerest gratitude," Plant told the crowd. No doubt all of us offer the same back to them.

Visit the Center for American Values, open seven days a week at 101 S. Main Street in Pueblo, or log on to for more information.

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