It has been 11 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, and yesterday Pleasanton and the Bay Area marked the somber milestone with a variety of memorial events ranging from the traditional to the creative.
The nation and world stood in shock when hijacked airplanes crashed into the New York skyline and the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., on Sept. 11, 2001. A fourth plane, San Francisco-bound United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.
Flag-lowering and bell-ringing ceremonies were held this morning throughout the area.
Here, the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department held a ceremony observing the 9/11 anniversary. About 50 joined in the observance, including firefighters and police from Pleasanton and Livermore, at the flagpole outside the fire department's headquarters at Bernal Avenue and Nevada Street.
Fire Chief James Miguel expressed his own and his department's continued grief over the tragedy and their rembrances of the event. His comments were followed by the ceremonial ringing of the bell in honor of those who died in the line of duty and the playing of bagpipes.
Other cities held similar observances, including San Francisco, San Jose and Gilroy.
At AT&T Park, red-white-and-blue banners containing the names of everyone who lost their lives 11 years ago were displayed outside the stadium in Willie Mays Plaza.
San Francisco Giants spokeswoman Shana Daum said the banners have gone up every year since 2002 at the plaza, with a center banner stating, "We'll Never Forget 9/11."
In Napa, a project is under way to create a memorial park on Main Street in the downtown area that will feature an art installation to honor
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
Although the project is still getting under way, part of the art installation that will be featured in the park was unveiled this week.
Tuesday, the public was invited to view the installation, which consists of two glass panels containing all of the 9/11 victims' names. The
names are etched into the 15-foot tall, 1.5-inch thick glass panes. The panels were available for public viewing for most of the day at the Gordon Huether Hay Barn Gallery at 1821 Monticello Road in unincorporated Napa.
The memorial park project will eventually incorporate more than 30 tons of steel beams from the World Trade Center site.
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors held a memorial ceremony at its meeting in Martinez Tuesday morning.
In San Jose, a flame-lighting ceremony was held Tuesday night at the 9/11 monument at the Oak Hill Cemetery, located at 300 Curtner Ave. A ceremony was also held at the cemetery Tuesday morning to mark the times the twin towers were hit in Manhattan, along with the moments the
planes crashed in Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon.
Tuesday morning 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."