AVMA Executive Vice President Bruce W. Little reads the presidential proclamation of Sept. 11, 2002, as Patriot Day during the memorial tree planting ceremony at AVMA headquarters.
To honor those who lost their lives in the tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001, and those who lost a loved one, the AVMA conducted a tree planting ceremony on the Association's property in Schaumburg, Ill. The planting, held on the first anniversary of that fateful day, will remind future generations of the heroic sacrifices of all those involved.
AVMA staff members were involved in planting the pear tree.
"We are planting a Bradford pear tree that will bloom beautiful white flowers every spring and colorful leaves every fall. As the seasons come and go, future generations of AVMA staff and guests will be able to observe this beautiful tree as the healing process from the events of Sept. 11, 2001, continues forward," said Dr. Bruce Little, AVMA executive vice president. "As Americans, we should never forget."
The AVMA service also observed George W. Bush's proclamation of Sept. 11, 2002, as Patriot Day. President Bush encouraged people of the United States to observe the day with appropriate remembrance ceremonies and activities, and these took place around the United States as well as in many other countries.
"We will not forget the events of that terrible morning, nor will we forget how Americans responded in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in the skies over Pennsylvania with heroism and selflessness, with compassion and courage, and with prayer and hope," President Bush said. "We will always remember our collective obligation to ensure that justice is done, that freedom prevails, and that the principles upon which our nation was founded endure."
When terrorists crashed planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center the morning of Sept. 11, local veterinarians and veterinary technicians were among the first to respond, helping with human casualties at makeshift triage stations and treating the search-and-rescue dogs scouring the rubble for survivors. Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams also sprang into action, being deployed to all three disaster sites to assist in recovery efforts. Fifty-one members from the four VMATs aided search-and-rescue efforts at ground zero from Sept. 11 until Oct. 31, 2001, providing more than 900 treatments to about 300 search-and-rescue dogs.