SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The Bay Area joined the rest of the nation in marking the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks Tuesday in familiar but subdued ceremonies, suggesting it’s time to move on after a decade of remembrance.
“We will always honor and remember those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on September 11th, and San Francisco joins all Americans in mourning on this day, the eleventh anniversary,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.
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“The world has forever changed since that day and working together with city agencies, law enforcement and community partners, San Francisco is stronger, better prepared for emergencies and more resilient than ever. We will continue to honor the memories of the first responders and victims who died on 9/11 by working together to keep our City safe,” he added.
As in past years, thousands gathered at the World Trade Center site in New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to read the names of nearly 3,000 victims killed in the worst terror attack in U.S. history. At Shanksville is where San Francisco-bound United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in a field.
At the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Va., President Barack Obama spoke, noting, “this is never an easy day.”
“Eleven times we have marked another Sept. 11 come and gone,” the president said. “Eleven times, we have paused in remembrance, in reflection, in unity and in purpose.”
But as the Associated Press reported, many felt that last year’s 10th anniversary was an emotional turning point for public mourning of the attacks. Fewer families attended the ceremonies this year, and some cities across America canceled their remembrances altogether.
In San Francisco, Mayor Lee ordered flags on all City buildings and grounds to be displayed at half-staff on Tuesday, while at AT&T Park there were red-white-and-blue banners containing the names of everyone who lost their lives 11 years ago hanging outside the stadium in Willie Mays Plaza.
KCBS’ Jeffrey Schaub Reports:
Coit Tower was also set to be lit red, white and blue starting at dusk on Tuesday evening in remembrance of those who died in the terrorist attacks and to honor the first responders who rushed in to save lives.
A bell-ringing ceremony was held by firefighters at Station 7 in San Francisco, who read the names of the 343 New York fire personnel who died on 9/11.
San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said cadets from the department’s fire academy were included in the ceremony because the force is under-staffed and they need to be prepared for both small and large scale emergencies.
“We brought them here today to put in their minds the great sacrifice in a career like this that they’re about to embark upon,” she said.
In the South Bay, a flame-lighting ceremony was held at the 9/11 monument at the Oak Hill Cemetery on Curtner Avenue in San Jose.
In the North Bay, a project was underway in Napa to create a memorial park on Main Street in the downtown area that will feature an art installation to honor the victims. The park, which has yet to break ground, is expected to be completed by Sept. 11, 2013, said Jeff Gerlomes, organizer of the Napa 9/11 Memorial Coalition.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)