Pleasanton marked the 12th year since the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed more than 3,000 people with a flag-raising, bell-ringing ceremony at the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department headquarters.
Keynote speaker Fire Chief James Miguel expressed his own and his department's continued grief over the tragedy and their remembrances 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.
About 50 joined in the Wednesday morning observance, including firefighters and police from Pleasanton and Livermore, at the flagpole outside the fire department's headquarters at Bernal Avenue and Nevada Street. Mayors Jerry Thorne of Pleasanton and John Marchand of Livermore also attended.
Miguel recalled the tragic morning of Sept. 11, 2001, as the nation and world stood in shock when hijacked airplanes crashed into both World Trade Center skyscrapers and into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. A fourth plane, San Francisco-bound United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, killing all on board including Tom Burnett, chief financial officer of Pleasanton-based Thoratec.
Miguel also noted that a 14-year-old Livermore youth said in a Sunday school class last week that he had just seen video clips of the 2001 events and had no knowledge of the tragedy. The fire chief said that's why the annual observances, such as the one in Pleasanton Wednesday, are so important in publicly remembering those who died.
"We have to realize that there's a whole new generation with us now that needs to know just how terrible 9/11 was," Miguel said.