LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Solemn gatherings were held across the Southland today to mark the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, while many people engaged in acts of giving to mark the date as a day of service.
The city of Los Angeles will held its annual remembrance ceremony at 9 a.m. at the fire department's Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center in Elysian Park. The ceremony is held each year in a plaza that includes a large section of metal recovered from the World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the attack.
LAFD Capt. Erik Scott told the crowd the 23-ton piece of metal is the largest remnant of the World Trade Center outside New York City.
“In the days after 9-11, one phrase was heard over and over again: never forget,” he said. “We gather here every year because we have not forgotten that simple phrase.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti was among those attending the ceremony, along with visiting Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas and Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore. The event included a wreath- laying and a flyover of helicopters in a missing-man formation.
Garcetti said the attacks “shook the world, but they did not stop it.”
“And they did not stop us,” he said. “Why? Because of the selfless service of others. Because of those who met injustice with justice, because of courageous people who ran into danger, cleared the debris, refused to bend, refused to break in the face of adversity, who saved lives that are walking amongst us today. And because the world came together and for a moment said we are all Americans.”
After the ceremony, the municipal officials joined more than 1,000 volunteers to pack food boxes for the needy. The volunteers are expected to pack 250,000 meals by day's end.
Cities across the area also held remembrance events.
In Beverly Hills, a ceremony was held at the city fire station on Rexford Drive, including a moment of silence and a bell-ringing. An evening service will also be held, featuring a wreath-laying and a musical tribute.
Culver City also hosted ceremonies at three fire stations, featuring a moment of silence and lowering of flags. Santa Monica held early morning memorial events at four stations.
Montebello will commemorate the date with a memorial walk that will begin at 4:45 p.m. at 10th Street and Whittier Boulevard and end at the Memorial Wall at Montebello City Park.
The Orange County Fire Authority held remembrance events at all of its fire stations. OCFA Chief Brian Fennessy was among those taking part in a formal ceremony its Regional Fire Operations & Training Center in Irvine. That event included music, a moment of silence and bell-ringing.
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