Special lunch presentation by 

the Rotary Club of San Francisco Chinatown

 

“Remembering 9-11”

Honoring San Francisco

Firefighters and Police   

 

Bringing the community together:  “Remembering 9-11” Honoring Firefighters and Police in San Francisco

 

The Rotary Club of San Francisco Chinatown, chartered on June 30, 2008, now with 30 members, hosted a very special lunch meeting on Sept 7, 2011: “Remembering 9-11” Honoring Firefighters and Police.

 

What started as club members volunteering for a community service project on the weekend of 9-11 grew into an idea of hosting a special lunch meeting honoring firefighters and police officers.  We considered inviting 9 or 11 firefighters and police officers as our guest, but our enthusiastic members put the word out and ended up with over 35 (active or retired) firefighters and police officers, including the San Francisco Chief of the Fire Department, SFPD Deputy Commanders, 10 SFPD Captains, the San Francisco President of the Board of Supervisors, and CA State Senator representative.   

 

5150 District Governor John Bottari was out of state making a Rotary presentation in Hawaii, but the district was represented by PDG, AG’s, club presidents, and many Rotarians from the district. 

 

There were about 100 attendees!  As guests registered, there was a buzz of fellowship, networking, and interviews as local media were also invited.  

 

President Ted Abe started the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a special video national anthem tailored to the San Francisco Fire Department and San Francisco Police Department.  (The making of the video idea came from a breakout session at the RI convention in Montreal) 

 

District Governor John Bottari made the Chief of the SFFD and Chief of the SFPD Paul Harris Fellows.  His Chief of Staff Chris Gallagher presented the awards in his absence. Proclamations were presented to the club by the President of the Board of Supervisors David Chiu and by State Senator Leland Yee’s representative Andrew Lan.

 

Past President and current Assistant Governor Ron Gin presented a somber and emotional PowerPoint account of the events of 9-11, highlighting the bravery and dedication of the FDNY and NYPD.  “Do you remember where you were on Sept 11, 2001?”

 

Keynote speakers SF Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and SFPD Deputy Commander Richard Corriea were followed by our own club member Retired SF Chief Fire Marshall Paul Chin who went back to ground zero with two fellow firefighters to volunteer and assist their fellow FDNY firefighters.

 

Was it worth it?  It was amazing of the outpour of support and appreciation for the firefighters and police officers, but also gratitude from the firefighters and police officers to US!  Many had never been honored by their community and were very thankful of today’s event.  Two invited guests expressed joining our Rotary Club.  Many stayed afterwards to share stories.  The event was mentioned in a local newspaper and radio.  

 

Honoring our local firefighters and police officers brought the community together, if for only one day.

 

 

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