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Ceremony honors first responders, victims of September 11 attacks

September 11, 2020

The U.S. Embassy on Friday paid tribute to the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks with a wreath-laying ceremony at Costa Rica’s National Academy of Firefighters.

The event began with the playing of the U.S. and Costa Rican national anthems, followed by remarks from U.S. Ambassador Sharon Day and a moment of silence.

“May God always bless the United States of America and Costa Rica in our good times and in our troubling times,” Day said. “We stand together […] and we fight for our shared values: Values of democracy, values of liberty, values of freedom.”

The National Academy of Firefighters houses the “Spirit Rising” (Espíritu Ascendente) monument, designed and constructed by artist Roland Hockett in honor of the first responders.

“We stand together on this 9/11 and we thank you again — myself from the bottom of my heart — for protecting this memorial and for what each of you do as first responders in this country,” Day said.

Watch the ceremony in its entirety in the video player below. (Click here if you cannot see the video.)

“Spirit Rising” was first unveiled on September 11, 2004 at September 11 Park in Sabana Norte. In 2014, it was moved to its current location at the Firefighters Academy in Desamparados.

“I want to thank the Bomberos for being such stalwart friends, such stewards of this memorial. You have honored this memorial by protecting it in your own home, your own house,” Day said.

Current and veteran U.S. marines salute the flag at a ceremony commemorating the events of Sept. 11, 2001
Current and veteran U.S. marines salute the flag at a ceremony commemorating the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The event took place at the Firefighter Academy in Desamparados, and dozens of Costa Rican firefighters and members of the U.S. Marine Corps League attended, along with U.S. Consul Ravi Candadai and Costa Rican Firefighters Director Héctor Chaves. “There are universal principles not related to nationality, creed, or race,” said Chaves in a speech. “And firemen from all over the world are united by the same mission: to protect life in all its forms, without any distinctions.” The monument, entitled “Spirit Rising,” by U.S. artist Roland Hockett, was originally located in San José, where it was vandalized. The monument now stands in its new home at the academy. Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times

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