Burbank Fire Capt. Lew Stone will never forget when he first learned
of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Stone, who doubles as president of the Burbank Firefighters Union,
was in Sacramento on union business. He first sensed that something
was wrong during a morning jog around the state Capitol, when he
noticed several California Highway Patrol cars surrounding the
“I immediately went back to the hotel where I was staying and
watched the attack with 30 other people on a TV [in the lobby],” he
said. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
Stone joined dozens of police officers and firefighters
commemorating the attacks during Thursday morning’s Patriot Day
ceremony on the steps of Burbank Police and Fire headquarters.
Burbank Fire Capt. Jess Talamantes was awakened on Sept. 11 by his
son, who first saw news of the attacks on TV. Talamantes said the
event shattered his sense of safety.
“I felt violated due to the fact that the country was being
attacked,” he said. “I’ve never felt that way before.”
Police Officer Mike Gibbons remembers viewing the attacks when a
fellow officer turned on a TV during roll call. His thoughts
immediately turned to his brother, who lives in Manhattan.
Gibbons learned that his brother was safe, but that his home was
caked with debris when the World Trade Center towers collapsed.
“I’ve been to the Twin Towers and New York City several times, and
it’s shocking and unbelievable that something like this took place,”
Fire Engineer Steve Sheehey was at home getting ready for work
when he saw the attack on TV. In complete disbelief, he said he tried
but couldn’t imagine what his New York counterparts were feeling.
“I have a great deal of respect for the guys who did what they
did, and I know if the challenge came to us, we would do the same,”
Sheehey said. “It makes me prouder to have this job.”