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Ceres pauses to recall 9/11 attacks
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Ceres Police Chaplain Joel Richards (back to camera) leads a public prayer over Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack victims during a short ceremony held Monday at Whitmore Park. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

A small ceremony was attended by approximately 65 persons - mostly Ceres police officers and firefighters - to remember the horrific Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

"I think it's one of those dates where everybody will remember where they were, what they were doing ... I think similar to what people were doing on Dec. 7 (1941)," said Deputy Chief of Police Mike Borges.

Ceres Police Chaplain Joel Richards offered invocation and thanks to God for America's freedom. He also prayed for those who lost loved ones when almost 3,000 perished when three planes crashed that day in New York City, Washington, D.C. and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The prayer was followed by a moment of silence.

Ceres Police Chief Art deWerk gave his perspective about the attacks occurring not only to a country but to individual cities. He said as a city employee he can relate to the attack in more personal ways. DeWerk mentioned that many surviving city workers are still sick and still dying from the events of that day.

"I think it's important for everybody to recognize the sacrifice that hit that city and in that respect I take it more personally," said deWerk.

A total of 343 firefighters and 60 law enforcement officers died from the attacks.

Ceres Fire Chief Bryan Nicholes noted that the attacks have changed the way all police and firefighters do business and how that affects their families.

"We rely on the light above us, to shine down on us to keep us strong, one faith, one belief," said Nicholes.