Mayor’s November Message

Mayor Bill Phillips talks about the City’s Veterans Recognition Program in his latest message, which follows:


Christopher D. Braman is a hero.   On September 11, 2001, then-Army Staff Sgt. Braman was working at the Pentagon as a cook when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building. He braved flames to pull survivors from the rubble after five hijackers flew the plane into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. following the attacks on the World Trade Center.

While recovering 63 bodies over the course of three days, Chris received burns to his forehead and permanently injured his lungs from exposure to jet fuel, fire, smoke, asbestos, chemicals and human matter. Because of his heroic efforts, he received the Purple Heart and Soldier’s Medal for bravery.

Chris also fought in the Gulf War and was part of the combined allied forces dispatched to the war in the Balkans. But it was that fateful September 11, 2001 day that was the defining moment of his life. He became a “poster child” of 9/11 and has shared his story around the country. Numerous articles have been written about him and stories portrayed on TV. Even Oprah Winfrey covered his story. He later carried the Olympic torch in a special ceremony at the Pentagon.

Chris and his wife Samaria both grew up in the area and moved to Aliso Viejo in 2013 after spending 14 years in Virginia.

Courageous people like Chris are why our City honors its local veterans every year.

Our City’s Veterans Recognition Program began in 2008 as a way to pay homage to the men and women who have served and continue to serve our nation. The debt to these people who sacrifice so much for our country can never be repaid. As a small gesture, our City is proud to host an annual dinner for our veterans and active military personnel. This year’s event takes place at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10th at the Aliso Viejo Conference Center, 31 Santa Barbara Drive.

Local veterans and active military personnel are welcome and should contact Gracie Duran at 425-2519 or to make a reservation and for more information.

I truly believe the bravery and commitment to our great country make our veterans the ultimate role models and heroes. If everyone strived to be as selfless and honorable as these individuals, our potential would be limitless.

Thank you one and all. I hope to see you on November 10th.

Posted in 2015, eNews, Top-Stories.