As the American flag was raised to half mast, employees, friends and invited guests of Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada paid tribute to those whom had fallen on that tragic day of September 11, 2001. The ceremony conducted annually by Larry Ruvo Senior Managing Director, Ian Staller Executive Vice President/General Manager and Michael Severino Senior Director of Marketing and Special Events of Southern Wine & Spirits reminded us as Americans that the events of 9/11 changed all of our lives forever and to honor those that perished, those that survived and above all that freedom can never be taken for granted; “We Will Never Forget.” Even though 14 years have passed since the horrific events of 9/11, at Southern Wine & Spirits, the day will always be remembered to honor those that gave up their lives to help others and those who lost their loved ones.

The annual memorial ceremony was accompanied by the talents of the Bishop Gorman Marching Band and the Las Vegas Fire Fighters Rescue Pipes and Drums. The esteemed Southern Nevada US Marine Corp Honor Guard and Breanna DeSantos commemorated the ceremony with solemn reflections in honor of our freedom with the sounds of Scottish bagpipes and the singing of our “National Anthem” and “God Bless America.”

Guest speaker Jeff Varnes, the Director of Operations for the American Red Cross Retired, reflected the unprecedented valiant efforts of the American Red Cross as they responded to the horrendous events with thirteen other service agencies to form the 9/11 United States Group. The United States Group with the help of millions of blood donors and volunteers that number in the tens of thousands provided physical, emotional and financial assistance to the victims of 9/11 and their families. To this day those services continue to aid and support individuals and communities whom were affected by 9/11.

Special Guest speaker, Lt. General Emil “Buck” Bedard, United States Marine Corp Retired, shared the events of 9/11 as he had witnessed firsthand. Lt. General Bedard was at the Pentagon when he first learned of the attacks on the United States. He recounted the emotional toll and physical efforts of thousands, whose unselfish courageousness will never be forgotten. Out of the rubble, heroes were born—some that survived those tragic events and others that sadly perished. On that eleventh day of September 2001, we came together as a nation. Lt. General Bedard recognized that our resilience as Americans drives us to stand up to terrorism as a united force not to be reckoned with and urged us not to cower in the face of terrorism.

The ceremony concluded with a New York deli-style catering for guests and team members of Southern Wine & Spirits. This annual 9/11 tribute is Southern Wine & Spirits’ way to commemorate those who were affected by this tragedy, remember the blessings of our freedom and honor our country.