Salute to Heroes An Opportunity to Remember and Learn
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16 May 2017
 
Once the one-hundred and eighteen story trek was completed, individuals laid the badges of fallen personnell in the basket and rang the bell at the Prescott Valley Event Center during the Salute to Heroes on Saturday May 13th, 2017. All Photos by: Torrence Dunham

Stair Climb Memorial, Education and Monster Trucks at Salute to Heroes

PRESCOTT VALLEY- One-hundred and ten stories is what firefighters had to climb at the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. Over fifteen years later, their memory is kept alive all over the country, including in Prescott Valley, by taking those same steps.

“The whole purpose is to carry these guys for their families to pay homage,” said Mayor Fire Chief and President of the Firefighters Association Tom Haney. “Rather than just say their names, we are literally walking in their footsteps.”

Individuals wore the badges of fallen personnel as they made laps through the stairs at the Prescott Valley Event Center to match the one-hundred and ten stories climbed on September 11th.

“Just paying my respects, I have a lot of close friends who are firefighters,” said Prescott Valley Event Center Director of Business Development Satish “Catfish” Athelli who set up and participated in the event. “Not just set up the event but to participate is really important.”

The stair climb was just one many activities for people to do at the Salute to Heroes on Saturday afternoon. Outside of the Prescott Valley Event Center, individuals got up close looks at Military vehicles, such as a Blackhawk helicopter, as well as observing how police, fire and medical personnel conduct business on a daily basis such as rescuing individuals and suspending down from the air.

Personnel also interacted with children while showing them various tools, such as a SWAT vehicle, and tried to create a positive reaction toward seeing law enforcement.

“I do it because i love it,” said fourteen-year Prescott Valley Police Department Sergeant Thomas Grant. “The kids get excited to see different things they normally don’t get to see.”

“The kids get to see us other than taking enforcement action…the sooner we can interact with the kids, and the younger we can, the better they understand that we’re just like their mom and dad and we have a job to do,” Grant continued.

Remembering the individuals lost and educating the public is the main focus behind holding the event every year.

“Getting all the kids in touch with military, police and fire, where their first interaction is a positive one,” Atheli said. “That’s the most important thing,”

The Salute to Heroes also aided local personnel and veteran foundations in the community by hosting a monster truck show where all the proceeds went to the various organizations.

“It’s great to be here in Prescott, Arizona at the Salute to Heroes” Big Foot Monster Truck Driver Larry Swim said. “To raise money for the veterans, the firefighters, the policemen, it’s a great feeling.”

Hundreds of people showed up to the various activities and enjoyed the monster truck show at the Prescott Valley Event Center on Saturday. In the future, the stair climb will continue to be combined with the Salute to Heroes as the day will serve as a chance to remember and learn about those who are and have protected the United States on a daily basis.

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Torrence Dunham

Torrence Dunham "TD" is a multimedia journalist who graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.  Torrence is our PrescottValleyeNews.com Correspondent covering local news and events in Prescott Valley. He is also the lead sports correspondent and play-by-play pro for all our multimedia news sites. If he's not adding to his extensive sports bobble-head collection, he's talking baseball, his favorite. Follow him on Twitter: @Tadunham.