A moving ceremony was held Tuesday as the City and area senior citizens honored first responders and the family members of fallen local police officers.
The mayor, along with the Retired Senior Volunteers Program, honored first responders by making a proclamation at City Council Tuesday.
"Sept. 11, 2013, as 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance," Mayor Nelda Martinez said. "Thank you all and God bless you."
Senior citizen volunteers recognize those who serve each year, and this year, they chose 9/11 and local first responders who have given their lives in the line of duty. As part of the proclamation ceremony, relatives of two fallen Corpus Christi Police Officers were presented with plaques commemorating the service of their loved ones.
Irma Almanza Kralik lost her police officer husband, Reuben Almanza, who was killed in 1985 while responding to a robbery call.
"I keep them in my prayers. I'm always praying for my husband and for those that have fallen, all the officers that have fallen in the line of duty," Kralik said. "So it touches my heart, and my heart goes out to all the families because I know what they went through."
The family of Matt Thebeau was also presented with a plaque. Thebeau's 93-year old grandmother said her fondest memory of Matt was his love of her cooking.
"He was just truly a special person," Vida Marie Thebeau said. "He loved me so much, and I was the same with him. And he loved my potato soup. He always talked about grandma's potato soup."
Thebeau's uncle, Senior Officer Martin Thebeau, said the City and senior recognition is important.
"Not only as a family member, but a fellow officer and a first responder," Martin Thebeau said. "You know, to lose somebody close like that and how it feels, and it's hard to overcome; but the recognition that we get from all the people and all the community and stuff like that, it helps. It really helps make it a little easier. But it's still a hard thing."
While the City prepares to honor all of those first responders at a ceremony Wednesday morning at Sherrill Park, Irma Kralik said the City recognition means a lot.
"It really is an honor to be recognized, also with the firefighters that died in the line of duty on 9/11, and also for the other police officers that were killed in the line of duty," Kralik said.
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