Community Events Aim to Comfort, Show Support

helen-galvin
el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">Helen Galvin
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Like thousands of cities, churches, schools and stores around the country, Glendale honored the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

“It took us less than 24 hours to pull it together,” said Vicki Gardner, the city of Glendale?s Public Information Coordinator, about the candlelight vigil held Sept. 14.

Using modern technology and old-fashion grass-roots effort, Gardner’s office was able to quickly get the word out to the community bringing 1,200 people to the gathering in front of the city hall.

Gardner used a public media list, which included television and radio stations as well as local businesses, and followed up with making personal telephone calls. Her office also worked through the Optimist Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

The city’s Web site may have also reached many of those who attended. “With over 13,000 hits a month, we were pretty certain people would know about it,” Gardner said.

Public access Channel 6 also announced the vigil.

The candle-bearing crowd heard Mayor Gus Gomez speak about how all of us have been touched by this tragedy. Also in attendance were Jim Brown, Superintendent of Glendale Unified School District, City Manager Jim Starbird and council members Rafi Manoukian, Frank Quintero and Bob Yousefian.

After the vigil, the crowd walked around City Hall – many in tears from the strain of the week’s tragedy.

“I am an American citizen,” Armine Zarifian said. “Look at all the candles and the flags. Look at all the people who cry. This is what America is about. Being together to help one another.”
Employees of the Disney Store Corporate Office observed a few moments of silence at the City Center building on Brand Boulevard.

Earlier in the day, the entire Galleria paused at noon for a moment of silence. Annette Bethers, Senior Marking Director of the Galleria, said, “We weren’t sure if we could have every shopper stop and be quiet, but we did with the help of each retailer announcing our plans. When our General Manager turned off the music, and the entire mall went silent, well, I got a chill.”

Some churches had extra services during the week. “We had an evening service on Sept. 11,” said Father Vazken Atmajian of St. Mary’s Armenian Church. “And on Friday and Saturday our church was filled.” The church is collecting donations.

The Salvation Army is a conduit for the larger Armies in Washington and New York. Captain Gwyn Jones, Pastor of the Glendale Army, said that in New York City the organization has had 20 canteens in place since the attack, serving drinks and food, as well as providing counseling.
On Sept. 16, the Glendale Galleria sold Stars and Stripes lapel pins, with the $5 donations going to the American Red Cross.

“We’re continuing to do things to show our patriotism,” Gardner said. Employees working inside City Hall are wearing a flag pinned onto their badges. City owned vehicles have placed glossy flags in their back windows.

“We’ve ordered red, white and blue ribbon pins for all city employees to wear,” Gardner said. Relief canisters will be place around the city and the money will be sent as one check to a relief organization.

A video of the vigil was to be broadcast on Channel 6.

Glendale Firehouse 21 raised $62,000 on Sept. 22.

A pancake breakfast kicked off the fundraising. The International House of Pancakes provided the pancake batter, Juan Medina said. The firemen served approximately 2,500 breakfasts from 8 a.m. to noon.

“Donations kept coming in all day,” Assistant Fire Chief Chris Gray said. When asked for a rough estimate of the amount raised, he said, “I can give you the exact amount. $62,000.”
All monies are earmarked for the Widows and Children’s Fund of New York City Uniformed Firefighters Association.