Families, loved ones, and supporters in Southern California and all over the world are remembering a somber anniversary as Monday marks 22 years since the deadliest terror attack in the United States on September 11, 2001. From coast to coast, it was a day of remembrance to honor the nearly 3,000 lives that were lost and the bravery that saved the lives of countless others.
The deadly attack brought the nation together and Southern California residents continue to honor the promise to never forget and remember the victims.
“Now more than ever, it is essential for communities like ours in Beverly Hills to foster a spirit of unity, vigilance, and strength,” said Chief Mark Stainbrook of the Beverly Hills Police Department during a memorial to honor the victims. “Let us ensure the legacy of 9/11 is not one of sorrow, but also strength in the face of evil.”
Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Robert Cordobes was at Ground Zero 22 years ago on that solemn day. He, along with other first responders, shared words of reflection during an event at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda.
“It gives them more of a better understanding of what we went through,” he said. “When they went from Rescue to recovery, that’s when it was a little more difficult for us because now it’s kind of like we’re not looking into saving lives anymore,” he said.
“The further we get away from it, the more we need to remember that day, “ said Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes. “What’s important are the lives lost on the day. I want to make sure that the process we put in place since 9/11 stays robust and helps keep our communities and nation safe.”
In Malibu, the “Waves of Flags” display returned to Pepperdine University’s campus and will be on display until Wednesday, September 20. Each of the nearly 3,000 flags, including flags from other countries, represents a victim of the attacks, including Pepperdine student Colton Cherry’s father.
“Colton Cherry was only a year old when his father died on 9/11,” said Hung Le, senior vice chancellor of Pepperdine University. “So this year we invited him to plant the first flag when we raised the display, and today he will plant the last flag in memory of his father. We want to honor Colton’s family as a representative of so many families that continue mourning.”
In New York City, families and loved ones gathered at Ground Zero where they read aloud the victims’ names and held moments of silence to observe the time each hijacked plane struck the World Trade Centers towers and when they collapsed. Vice President Kamala Harris was among those who attended the somber service.
At the Pentagon, military leaders gathered to honor the 184 lives lost there on September 11. General Mark Miller, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and First Lady Jill Biden paid homage at the annual ceremony. President Joe Biden observed the anniversary, while on his way home from an international trip.
“Everyday since, the United States has demonstrated that we would never bow to fear,” said President Biden. “But we’ll never forget, when faced with evil and an enemy who sought to tear us apart, we endured. We endured.”