On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, memorials, parades and other events commemorating those who lost their lives were held Saturday across San Diego County.
Hundreds attended a memorial tribute on the windy flight deck of the USS Midway Museum, which included a reading of the names of first responders who lost their lives in the attacks, a tolling of the bells with an emergency helicopter flyover, a 21-gun salute and a harbor police fireboat water display.
The Coronado Fire Department hosted a 9/11 memorial ceremony at 6:45 a.m. Saturday at Fire Station 36, with Coronado firefighters, police, lifeguards and local military personnel in attendance. Local first responders marked the attacks with an invocation, a moment of silence and a symbolic ringing of the station’s bell.
Another event in Coronado was hosted by Rotary District 5340 at 8 a.m. at Hotel del Coronado. More than 100 first responders were recognized during a commemoration, with representation from police, fire, EMT, health care and military.
National City hosted an online remembrance ceremony at 8:30 a.m., with guest speaker Brennan Savage, a retired FDNY firefighter.
The mayor of National City, Alejandro Sotelo-Sous, spoke to KUSI News about the meaning of Saturday’s services.
“It’s making sure that our youth and the past community understands that this is something that really shaped our country,” the mayor said. “After the attack, everyone was feeling that sense of unity. We are the United States of America and feeling that same sense of community.”
The 3rd annual 9/11 Never Forget Half-Marathon Run was held at 8:30 a.m. at the Oceanside Pier and was dedicated to “our brothers and sisters that lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.” The 13-mile run spanned the pier to Moonlight Beach.
“On this 20th anniversary of September 11, San Diego joins the nation in remembering those we lost, the first responders who rushed in to provide aid, and the members of our military who deployed to defend our country,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria tweeted Saturday.
County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher said, “Today we honor the heroes and the many lives lost on September 11, 2001. May we never forget the spirit of resilience of our community, our first responders, our troops.”
Sheriff Bill Gore, who came to San Diego County in 1997 to head the FBI office, learned that within 24 hours after the 9/11 attack two of the hijackers had previously lived in San Diego, “which really put San Diego in the heart of the investigation.”
“I still get emotional talking about meeting the San Diego (FBI) officers and how proud I am of the work they did,” Gore said in a videotaped statement. “I think we’ll continue to improve and prevent this from ever happening again.”
The 56th Poway Rotary Parade was held Saturday morning and featured high school bands, riders on horseback, floats, Vietnam veterans, pageant courts, cheerleaders and first responders.
More 9/11 tribute events took place Saturday afternoon and evening.
In Fallbrook, the North County Fire Protection District, the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce and the American Legion held a 9/11 memorial event at Fire Station 1, which included a bell ceremony and color guard.
The Chula Vista Police Foundation hosted an “Evening With Heroes” honoring both the “heroes of the Chula Vista Police Department as well as those in our community that have gone above and beyond in the call of service.”
At the Del Mar Surf Cup Sports Park, Mainly Mozart, in collaboration with the National Conflict Resolution Center, hosted a 7:30 p.m. benefit concert, which organizers said “will raise funds and bring awareness to NCRC’s mission to overcome hatred, intolerance and incivility while ensuring the memories of the heroes and victims are not forgotten.”
The event featured members of the Del Mar Fire Department and Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District, who participated in a special 9/11 tribute.