Solemn ceremonies will be held throughout San Diego County Sunday to remember the nearly 3,000 people who died during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The National City firefighters union will honor the 343 firefighters who lost their lives with a breakfast at NCFD headquarters at 7 a.m., followed by a ceremony at 8:45 a.m. Firefighters were asked to wear Class A uniforms.
A silent tribute is planned at 6 p.m. at Powerhouse Park in Del Mar, with the planting of miniature flags representing every person who died.
In Vista, Faith Lutheran Church will hold ceremonies beginning at 11:30 a.m. in the Community Life Center Gym.
The United Methodist Church in Mission Valley will have special worship services throughout the morning to honor all those whose lives were lost. Services are scheduled for 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
The day is officially dubbed Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance in honor of the civilians and first responders who were killed in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
“Fifteen years ago, nearly 3,000 innocent lives — men, women and children who had been going about their normal routines — were taken from us, depriving families and loved ones of a lifetime of precious moments,” President Barack Obama said in a proclamation noting the 15th anniversary of the attacks. “But the acts of terror of Sept. 11, 2001, sought to do more than hurt our people and bring down buildings. They sought to break our spirit and destroy enduring values that unite us as Americans.
“In the years that followed, our capacity to love and to hope has guided us forward as we worked to rebuild, more sound and resilient than ever before,” he said. “With the hearts of those we lost held faithfully in our memories, we reaffirm the unwavering optimism and everlasting strength that brought us together in our darkest hour, and we resolve to give of ourselves in service to others in that same spirit.”
California Gov. Jerry Brown also issued a proclamation.
“Fifteen years ago today, Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners to use as suicide missiles against major American landmarks, including the Pentagon and New York’s World Trade Center, where most of the nearly three thousand victims perished,” Brown said.
“Each year since those terrible events, we have observed September 11 as Patriot Day to honor both those who lost their lives and the men and women who showed such bravery in responding to the attacks and aiding the victims.
“On this somber anniversary, I urge Californians to commemorate the lives we lost and the bravery of those who responded. I have ordered all flags on state buildings to be flown at half-staff.”
— City News Service