By Esther Rubio-Sheffrey
Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the terriost attacks that brought down the twin towers in New York on the morning of September 11th. In the immediate aftermath, the nation came together under the mantra that we would never forget. Politics and war mongering aside, for many Americans September 11th, is a day of remembrance, and a chance to honor the victims and emergency first responders that died that day.
Americaâ€™s finest city will offer San Diegans a variety of ways to pay tribute to the heroes, reflect on how our lives have changed, and to gather with friends and family in a meaningful way. What follows is a list of events taking place throughout the city, all of which are open to the public.
The San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation will unveil a 9/11 Memorial, which includes steel from the World Trade Center on Friday, September 9, at 10:30 am at Fire Station 21 in Pacific Beach. Designed by firefighter Tim Swanson, the memorial features two polished aluminum columns inscribed with the names of the 343 emergency first responders who died in the attack. Known as the 344th firefighter, retired FDNY Lieutenant Joe Torrillo, will be among the speakers at the ceremony, which also includes Mayor Jerry Sanders, and several City Councilmembers.
Fallen heroes will also be honored onboard the USS Midway Museum with a 9/11 Memorial Service on Sunday, September 11th at 2:30 pm. The memorial includes an 11-star wreath laying ceremony, a US Navy flyover, a reading of the names accompanied by a tolling of the bells, a twin helicopter flyover, a 21-gun salute along with additional tributes, including a water display show by the San Diego Harbor Patrol. Boarding will begin at 1:30 pm, and all are welcomed to enjoy a reception on the Flight Deck after the ceremony, which includes food, drinks, and entertainment.
Escondidoâ€™s California Center for the Arts will host a 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Observance on Sunday beginning at 1 pm with a reading of all the names of those who died, followed by family-friendly entertainment, patriotic arts and crafts, and a special concert by the 45-piece Navy Band Southwest. The event is free, concert seating is limited, and on a first come, first serve basis.
The Southern California chapter of Operation Homefront will join dozens of cities nationwide by participating in Freedom Walk 2011 on Sunday, September 11. The idea is to walk together as a nation, reflect on the lives lost on 9/11, and to honor our veterans, while renewing our commitment to freedom. There is no cost for participating in the 5k mile walk. Registration begins at 7:30 am, followed by a ceremony at 9:00 am, and the walk from 10 am to 1 pm. Those interested in participating should meet at the De Anza Cove at 3000 North Mission Bay Drive.
There is no doubt that several sermons at San Diegoâ€™s churches will discuss in one way or another the lessons learned from that tragic day. Two churches however, will pay tribute to the 9/11 victims and heroes with memorial concerts open to the public on Sunday, September 11th. The University City United Church (2877 Governor Drive) will begin its concert at 4 pm, and the First Presbyterian Church (320 Date Street downtown) will begin their concert at 6 pm.
San Diegans for 9/11 Truth will present a free screening of the groundbreaking documentary â€œ9/11: Experts Speak Outâ€ on Sunday at the Joyce Beers Uptown Community Center (3900 Vermont Street) at 6:30 pm. The film makes its case for a new investigation into the attacks of September 11, 2001 with scientific evidence that undermines the official explanations for the total destruction of three New York City skyscrapers.