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Chabad Hebrew Academy honors San Diego police ahead of 9/11 anniversary

Chabad Hebrew Academy honored San Diego police during a ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
Chabad Hebrew Academy honored San Diego police during a ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
(Luke Harold)

San Diego Police Capt. Mike Holden remembers when he first saw the images of the Twin Towers falling on 9/11, across the country from the post he had at the time with the department’s Mid City Division.

“When I saw those towers collapse, I knew that I had lost many of my fellow brothers and sisters, both law enforcement and fire and other first responders,” said Holden, recalling that day for a group of students at Chabad Hebrew Academy.

He and several other San Diego police officers visited the school on Sept. 9 for a 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony by the front steps, two days before the 20th anniversary of the deadliest attack on American soil.

Almost 3,000 people died after hijacked commercial airliners struck the Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania. First responders were among the lives lost.

The San Diego police officers received awards from Chabad Hebrew Academy to recognize their service to the community, and the role that first responders serve during the most tragic events.

Jonathan Bar-El, consul for public diplomacy for the consulate general of Israel in Los Angeles, told the students he remembers 9/11 “as if it was yesterday.”

“When you attack our best friend and ally, you attack us, and when you attack America because of our way of living, because of our values of freedom, of democracy — these are the same values we share with the United States,” he said.

Daniel Friedman, associate director of community engagement at the Jewish National Fund, spoke about a “living memorial” that the organization has in Jerusalem that honors the victims.

“The importance there was really for us to understand that these are not just numbers, it’s not just another person. Each one of these people was a human being,” he said.


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