California Stories

Charles Tasker & Jerry Salmeron, Indian Wells

(Nominated by John Rios and representing all members of their 62 person team)
Gerald R. Ford Elementary School
March 10, 2011

On 9/11/01 while the world looked on in amazement Firefighters FC Tasker and FFII Salmeron were aggressively packing their equipment in case they got the call to respond to the tragedy that was unfolding before their eyes. Within an hour of the second tower collapsing our heroes were loaded up and in route to the deployment center in Riverside City to respond as part of a 62 person team. After aggressively assisting with the packaging of gear and equipment, they flew out of March AFB late that afternoon to embark on their journey. Little did they know that the events

of the next two weeks would be so emotionally charged. Upon arriving in New York they traveled to the Javitts Center in NYC which would be their home for the next two weeks. Within hours of their arrival they were on what came to be known as the “Pile” the mass of steel girders and sand where the two massive buildings that only hours before had stood. During the next two weeks they faced multiple dangerous assignments, flinching at none.  They were professional and hard working, even under the worst of conditions for 15 hour days, stopping only long enough to get in short shower and a few hours of sleep. Emotionally and physically drained they pushed on every day in hopes of finding anyone alive. It is people like these two men that I believe deserve the opportunity to stitch the flag that will part of the 9/11 memorial. They actually were a part of the rescue effort then, and continue to serve the citizens on a weekly basis to this day. I am proud to know and work side by side with them.