Thousands of Sacramentans lined Capitol Mall Friday to honor three local childhood friends – Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone – who courageously tackled and hogtied a terrorist, saving the lives of countless passengers on a Paris-bound train.
“What a fantastic show of pride and patriotism,” said Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Carmichael). “Sharing the privilege of honoring these heroes today makes me feel very proud to be an American.”
“These three heroes’ quick thinking and fearless action reminds us of the brave passengers on United Airlines Flight 93, who fought back against the terrorists to crash down in a field in rural Pennsylvania, saving the lives of countless citizens in our nation’s Capitol. It is appropriate that we honor their incredible acts of courage to thwart another heinous terrorist attack.”
Attendees enjoyed live music as they watched a parade including patriotic matching of color guards and local school bands.
The festivities included a United States Air Force flyover. Sacramento singer and songwriter Jackie Greene performed the national anthem.
The enthusiastic crowd – some from as far as Chico – greeted the three heroes chanting, “U.S.A!” The heroes were welcomed by Mayor Johnson, players from players from the Sacramento Kings and the Sacramento Republic FC.
Serving as host, Mayor Kevin Johnson led a moment of silence to memorialize the fallen victims of September 11, 2001.
In thanking the proud group of people, Spencer Stone choked up with emotions. Following their emotional remarks, the heroes received accommodations from the State Senate, Assembly and County leaders. Senator Nielsen had the privilege of presenting the Senate Resolution to Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone of the United States Air Force.
The celebration ended with Mayor Johnson presenting the heroes with a key to the city with blasts of ticker tape blowing out of cannon guns.
Led by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s office, the event was also organized by the Governor’s Office, state legislative and county officials, local businesses, the U.S. Air Force and the National Guard.
Photo credit: Larry Venus. From left to right: Alek Skarlatos, Senator Cathleen Galgiani, Spencer Stone, Senator Jim Nielsen, Anthony Sadler, Dr. Richard Pan and Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León)