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Publication Date: Friday, September 06, 2002

One year later One year later (September 06, 2002)

Special ceremonies, a flag-waving rally and fire bells will commemorate the tragic events of 9-11 throughout Pleasanton

by Jeb Bing

Special ceremonies will be held in Pleasanton next Wednesday as the city joins the nation in observing the first anniversary of terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a passenger jet one year ago. More than 3,000 died in those attacks.

The key ceremonies will include one starting at 6:45 a.m. in front of the Veterans Memorial on Main Street, where the Livermore Pleasanton Fire Department and Pleasanton Police Department Color Guard will mark the exact times the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed. A community interfaith service at 7:15 p.m. will conclude the day's observances, at the Fairgrounds Amphitheater.

Other observances planned for Wednesday include: A flag-waving rally from 4-7 p.m. at the corner of Hopyard Road and Stoneridge Drive, involving mostly Pleasanton residents who will gather for a patriotic rally for passing motorists. Marcia Kernan, who is organizing the event, urged participants to bring flags, candles, signs and other patriotic gear. A community memorial tribute from noon to 12:30 p.m. in front of the Las Positas College library. The public is invited to this "Time of Reflection" by faculty and students, to be led by College President Karen Halliday. The school's Fire Science Academy will have an exhibit to honor the fallen firefighters and police officers, and taps will be played during the special ceremony. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors, led by Board President Scott Haggerty, will hold a community-wide memorial ceremony from 9-10:30 a.m. at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum/Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way. The ceremony will include performances by youth groups and choirs, interfaith prayer, keynote speakers and a firefighters' bell-ringing ceremony, sounding as the names of 9-11 victims are scrolled on the arena's screen in the background.

The early morning ceremony Wednesday at Veterans Hall in Pleasanton, and a similar one to be held at the downtown flagpole in Livermore, will start with flags at full staff and fire trucks rolled outside their stations. Then at 7:05 a.m. Pacific Time, the time here when the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed, a fire department bell will be rung and flags will be lowered to half-staff at the flagpoles. Fire department chaplains and officers and, in Pleasanton, Mayor Tom Pico will make brief commemorative remarks. At 7:28 a.m., the time when the North Tower collapsed, fire bells will ring again and, at 7:29, flags will be raised to full staff.

The evening interfaith service will closely parallel the special memorial held a few evenings after Sept. 11, 2001. Religious leaders will offer their thoughts on the anniversary and its meaning, followed by reflections from police and fire chiefs from throughout the Valley. The program, entitled "One Year Later: Remembrance and Hope," will be open to the public.

"We have designed this program to help us all remember the people affected by the events of a year ago," said Pastor Mike Barris of the Pleasanton Presbyterian Church and president of the Pleasanton Ministerial Association, which is sponsoring the event.

In the ceremony, the tape of a new song, written by former Pleasanton Fire Chief George Withers, and played by Tom Evans of Tommy and the 4Speeds, will be played. The lead singer is Susan Murphy backed up by the children's choir of Trinity Lutheran Church in Pleasanton.


Phil Avila donates blood at the Red Cross with technician Becky Randall.


Firefighter Gary O'Connor of Station 1 on Railroad Avenue uses his boot to collect donations to help victims of Sept.11


Alisal Elementary parent Shari Van Heusen, clerk Paula Plunk and Principal Barbara Heisser sell T-shirts at Farmers Market to raise money for the families of police and firefighters.


City worker Mark Kopechny lowers the flag at City Hall to half staff the morning of Sept. 11.



Deena Burnett, Tom's widow, and his father and mother, Tom Sr. and Beverly, attend the dedication.


Plaque at Thoratec Corp. on Stoneridge Drive dedicates the site to the memory of Tom Burnett, its chief operating officer who went down fighting on Flight #93.


Jim Shore of Rose Avenue carries a large flag at a rally at Hopyard and Valley.


Thousands attend a service at the Fairgrounds Amphitheater sponsored by the Pleasanton Ministerial Association to provide spritual comfort for the entire community.



The lane next to Thoratec was renamed in Burnett's honor.


Stoneridge Shopping Center closed that day in observance of the national tragedy.


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