We may be nearly 3,000 miles from Ground Zero here in California. But as author David Levithan once quipped,
“What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.”
How exactly are cities across the state paying tribute on Patriot Day? PublicCEO has compiled a quick list of the various ways California groups plan to honor the victims of 9/11.
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IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, Los Angeles will remember the day with a Patriot Day observance at both the Battleship Iowa in Port of LA and City Hall.
In Malibu, Pepperdine University has hoisted 3,000 flags on their expansive lawn overlooking the Pacific Ocean (see picture above) in remembrance of each individual who lost their life that day, including Pepperdine alumnus Thomas E. Burnett who was a passenger on United Flight 93.
In San Diego, the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb will be hosted by a collection of firefighters, military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians. Beginning at 8am on Sunday, participants will ascend the 110 stories worth of stairwells in the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel in remembrance of the 343 rescue workers who made the ultimate sacrifice 12 years ago. All proceeds raised will go to support injured firefighters and their families.
Yesterday the San Diego City Council paused for a moment of silence during their meeting in order to honor the nearly 3,000 people who died in the events of 9/11. Today there will be a memorial service on the deck of the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum that will feature a helicopter flyover, fireboat display and 21-gun salute.
Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert will break ground on a memorial site today in remembrance of 9/11. Organizers of the project have obtained artifacts from Ground Zero and have worked them into the display.
In Fullerton, an Orange County firefighter by the name of Scott Townley has dedicated the entirety of his lawn to pay tribute to all who died as a result of the September 11 attacks. His tribute started 12 years ago, which consisted only of crosses for each public safety officer who died that day. It has since expanded to represent—via flags and more crosses—each victim who died as a result of 9/11, including 1,400 additional victims who died as a result from working at Ground Zero. Townley said he made sure to painstakingly research each and every victim so that there name is accurately represented.
And San Jacinto is hosting a day-long event called “Never Forget, a Day of Prayer” along with many similar ceremonies throughout the Inland Empire.
In the CENTRAL VALLEY, there will be a 9/11 Remembrance Parade in Merced which will culminate in a ceremony for fallen servicemen at Courthouse Park this evening. It is hosted by the Chrome Cowboy Patriots, a motorcycle group based out of Merced and dedicated to helping and honoring those in the armed forces.
Meanwhile, Tulare is hosting a September 11 Memorial blood drive.
And in Yosemite, around 30 disabled military veterans will climb Half Dome and El Capitan in commemoration of 9/11.
In NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, Hayward is laying the groundwork for a 9/11 memorial funded by private sources. The same man who built the memorial in Union City will work on the design for the site in downtown Hayward.
In San Francisco, all 43 city fire stations will hold public ceremonies. Bells will be rung at the time of the attacks in New York and every name of the 343 first responders will be read aloud.
More than a thousand runners will take part in the 3rd Annual Run to Remember in Downtown Sacramento. The race begins at 9:11am and all proceeds go to support public safety officers and their families.
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Today may we all remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to save their fellow man.