On Sep. 11, Sacramento will honor the three American heroes who saved countless lives when they thwarted a terrorist attack on a crowded train in Europe while vacationing there last month.
“Our community has been anxiously awaiting the return of our three hometown heroes–Anthony, Alek and Spencer –so that we can celebrate and honor their incredible courage,” Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said in an official statement, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s fitting that we’re having this event on Sept. 11. What better way to remember the victims and sacrifices that were made on that tragic day and to celebrate the strength and character of our country?”
Anthony Sadler, a Sacramento State University student, Alek Skarlatos, a National Guardsman, and Spencer Stone who serves as an Air Force Airman 1st Class and an ambulance service technician, were awarded with France’s highest decoration, the Legion D’honneur, for their heroism.
The three friends were traveling from Paris to Amsterdam when Ayoub El-Khazzani, a 26-year-old Moroccan, burst out of the restroom and cocked his automatic AK-47 rifle in preparation to shoot at helpless passengers.
That’ is when Spencer tackled him, while his two friends wrestled the gun out of his hands, struggling to overpower him, and beat him until he passed out. El-Khazzani was arrested and reportedly remains in the custody of French counterterrorism police. He was previously listed on a terror watch list in Spain.
Details of next week’s parade are reportedly still being worked out. The Chronicle notes that victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks will also be honored.