The Rotary Club Bakersfield Twilight gathered together with its sponsored Centennial High School Interactors at the City of Bakersfield 911 World Trade Center Memorial to learn and appreciate our first-responders who risk their lives for us every day. It was ironic when we arrived  to find that our host Fire Department had all of its personnel out on duty for a major gas pipe leak in the City.
However, and shortly after our arrival, the team returned to Fire Station 15 to accommodate us. How’s that for responsiveness?

In addition to the ‘visit,’ the Mt. Vernon Elementary School (of which Twilight Rotary also sponsors with service projects) principal, Mrs. Xochitl Prieto presented to Station 15 appreciation mementoes in the form of greeting cards created by the school students.

The total visitation was highlighted by the fellowship of Rotarians, Interactors, our school Principal and host firefighters, Tim Ortiz and Mike Taylor. It had brought us together, learning about the emotional ties to our city’s memorial– featuring a structural steel girder artifact from the World Trade Center. Mr. Ortiz clearly pointed out that the girder also represents a solar clock of the tragic flights occurring that day – each time period embedded in the ground signifying the four attacks that occurred that day: American Airlines Flight 11 at 8:46 am; United Airlines Flight 175 at 9:03 am; the Pentagon at 9:37 am; and final flight, United Airlines Flight 93 into Pennsylvania fields at 10:03 am.

Anecdotal to its presentation, Tim Ortiz shared his experience with the team of first-responders in bringing this memorial artifact from New York to Bakersfield, and the rewarding experience and shared honor with fellow citizens across the country – halting traffic to allow passage through towns and cities, celebrations of the visual context it represents, and general feeling of patriotic pride that has brought our people together.

Rotary members from Bakersfield Twilight have long supported the community through a range of service projects. We also recognize the importance of fellowship and goodwill among Rotarians and our community supporters with similar recreational and civic interests. All of which helps promote increased participation in socializing, and increase understanding of the world around us. Being part of fellowship with Rotarians is a fun way to make friends, find out what happening around the world, explore others’ interests or profession, and just enhance our Rotary experience.