Guinn and First Lady Pay Tribute to 9-11 Victims

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Flags were lowered to half-staff over government buildings Thursday as Gov. Kenny Guinn and first lady Dema Guinn paid tribute to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to emergency workers who dug through rubble looking for survivors, and to Nevada soldiers killed or wounded in Iraq.

As the Guinns placed a wreath at a firefighters' memorial, the governor said that as a result of the attacks "a new spirit has arisen among all of us." He said there's a stronger sense of family, community and patriotism.

Guinn named the dead soldiers - Frederick Pokorney Jr., Joshua Byers, Cameron Sarno and Donald Cline Jr., and described an emotional phone conversation he had on Wednesday with the family of Sarno, the latest casualty.

Following up on President Bush's declaration of Thursday as national Patriot Day, Guinn made the same declaration for the state.

About 130 people were present for the ceremony, which included bagpipe music and taps. Those present included three New York firefighters who worked to clear away debris and find bodies of victims at the World Trade Center.

One firefighter, Dennis Fisin, said the support shown throughout the nation for the emergency workers in New York was vital because "we were working without hope - glorified diggers in a big cemetery where there were no tombstones."

Fisin also said he's concerned about health problems for emergency workers as a result of air pollution at the Trade Center, but added it may take years to know the impact and for now "it's one day at a time."

The Carson City ceremony was one of many around Nevada. Also, war protesters planned an event at the Sept. 11 memorial on the Las Vegas Strip.