Los Angeles County Marks 9/11 Anniversary

Rose at the 9/11 memorial

Photo: J-Picture / iStock / Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Across the Southland, several ceremonies took place marking the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including at the Los Angeles Fire Department's Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center.

LAFD described their ceremony as one of  the "biggest" memorial events on the West Coast for 9/11, and it was attended by Mayor Karen Bass, LAFD Fire Chief Kristen Crowley, L.A. Police Chief Michael Moore, among other state, county and L.A. City leaders.

"On this day, 22 years ago, the unthinkable happened. All of us remember exactly where we were when we got the news," Bass said during the ceremony. "And many of us remember how we spent the hours, the days, the weeks following the attack for many including brave members of the Los Angeles Fire Department."

According to LAFD, the California Task Force Once Urban Search and Rescue deployed 70 members, as well as 23 members of LAFD's Critical Incident Stress Management Team, to respond to the events of 9/11.

Bass said California first responders had "no clear expectation of what would be required of them," just that they had on their minds was "that they had been called to serve and they did when they arrived on the East Coast."

She added, they cleared rubble, searched for lost loved ones and relieved their partners in New York City, so other firefighters could "spend time with their families."

"In such a dark time, the light of compassion shined through on this day. It's important to remember those who lost their lives and the families who lost loved ones," Bass said. "We must also remember those who ran toward danger, those who sacrificed in order to restore communities and shape a path forward."

L.A. Fire Chief Kristen Crowley emphasized that Monday's ceremony represented a commitment to fulfill "our ongoing promise" to never ever forget. She added that "we come together faithfully and with purpose each and every year to honor and remember the lives taken from us."

She said a total of 2,997 people from 93 nations died -- 2,753 people died on ground zero, 184 were killed at the Pentagon and 40 people were killed as heroic passengers that stopped and spoiled the hijackers plans on flight 93.

Crowley went onto include first responders who died during the events of 9/11 -- 343 New York firefighters and paramedics, 23 officers from N.Y's Police Department and 37 port authority police officers.

The fire chief also honored the deaths of 331 individuals -- NYFD, paramedic and civilian support staff members -- who died from illnesses related to the rescue and recovery efforts in the aftermath of the attacks on the Twin Towers.

"I share these numbers with you, so that we never ever allow ourselves to become complacent and numb as we may move further and further away each year," Crowley said.

L.A. Police Chief Michel Moore said the world forever changed following the events of 9/11.

"It's also critical to call out and reaffirm the duty all of us have to continue to work together to fight extremism and hate," Moore said.

Bass and Moore rang"10-Bells" during the ceremony near Dodger Stadium, signifying the end of a day's work for first responders. The mournful sounds of bagpipers rang loud and deep, and the ceremony included a helicopter flyover by the LAFD Air Operations Section.

As part of the ceremony, LAFD unveiled a 23-ton steel column from the base of the World Trade Center that was part of the lobby structure. LAFD officials said it is the "largest remnant of the attacks outside of New York."

"Compassion and love is the spirit of Los Angeles. It's what motivates our first responders to always answer the call, bother here at home and around the world," Bass said.

"On behalf of the 4 million Angelenos who you serve and keep safe every single day, we thank you for continuing to make an impact and continuing to stand ready," she added. "We honor you and thank you."

In connection with the anniversary, volunteers from the volunteer action center L.A. Works will paint indoor rooms, assemble and refurbish tables and planter boxes and weed and plant at the training center, and create 1,000 disaster readiness kits.

Sept. 11 is a federally recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance. Opportunities to volunteer can be found at americorps.gov/911-day.

Long Beach had a "Last Alarm" tribute at Fire Station 1 beginning at 9:11 a.m., followed by a ceremonial wreath placement, moment of silence, words of reflection by Mayor Rex Richardson, and an "Amazing Grace" bagpiper performance.

There were also "Brief and solemn" ceremonies at all five Santa Monica Fire Department stations beginning at 6:45 a.m.

An artifact from the Ground Zero site resides in Fire Station 1 at 1337 Seventh St., just outside the community room, and is open for viewing by the public during normal business hours.

An informal ceremony began at 6:45 a.m. at Beverly Hills Fire Department, with a 5:30 p.m. memorial ceremony that will be streamed at BeverlyHills.org/Live.

There was a memorial ceremony at Hawthorne City Hall at 7:30 a.m.

The Alhambra fire and police departments hosted a 9/11 remembrance ceremony at 9 a.m. at Fire Station 71 featuring a posting of colors by the Alhambra Police Department Honor Guard, invocation, tolling of the bell and bagpipe music.

There was a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at 9 a.m. at the Antelope Valley Fallen Heroes Memorial at the Antelope Valley Mall in Palmdale.

The terrorist attacks killed nearly 3,000 people, many of whom were aboard three flights bound for Los Angeles International Airport.

In his proclamation declaring Monday Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance, President Joe Biden said, "Today we remember all the heroes who were forged in the hours, days, and years that followed that terrible morning of September 11, 2001 -- ordinary Americans who, amidst the terror, smoke, and flames, demonstrated extraordinary courage and selflessness. Together, their bravery helped prove to our nation and the world that what those terrorists most hoped to wound could never be broken: the character of our nation...

"In honor of all the lives we lost 22 years ago -- and in honor of all the heroes who have given their whole souls to the cause of this nation every moment since -- may today not only be observed with solemn remembrance but also with renewal and resolve," Biden added.

"Together, may we continue to demonstrate that the rights and freedoms that those terrorists sought to destroy on September 11, 2001, remain unwavering -- strengthened by generations of Americans who have dared all and risked all to defend, protect, and preserve our democracy."

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