Thursday, September 23, 2021

LA County communities commemorate 20th anniversary of 9/11 with heartfelt tribute today

The strength and unity of Americans was on display Saturday as the cities of Los Angeles County celebrated the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

related: List of Today’s Monuments in LA County

Tributes began early, especially at LAX where a moment of silence was held at 5:46 a.m. Saturday to commemorate the time when American Airlines Flight 11, which departed Boston Logan International Airport for LAX Not long after, a separate plane bound for LAX collided with the World Trade Center’s South Tower at 6:03 a.m. Pacific time. The third flight bound for LAX, American Airlines Flight 77, departed Washington Dulles International Airport before hitting the Pentagon at 6:37 a.m. California time.

“While New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia bore the brunt of this terrible day two decades ago, Los Angeles was also deeply affected by the loss of passengers and crew on three planes originally headed for LAX that morning. ,” said Justin Erbassi, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that manages LAX.

A second moment of silence and a color guard ceremony were scheduled at 8:43 a.m. LAX inside the US Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Station at Tom Bradley International Airport.

Residents of Torrance rose before the sun to mark the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, attending a ceremony at City Hall Saturday at 5:46 a.m. Photo: Hunter Lee, SCNG

Two decades later. The visuals still evoke emotional reactions, which is evident at monuments across the region this weekend.

The residents of Torrance were so dedicated to showing their support that some got up before the sun to honor the victims, survivors, families and first responders of the attacks in front of City Hall at 5:46 a.m.

Torrance Mayor Pat Fury said: “Among the passengers on the flight was Torrance resident John Venkas, 46, who was returning home with his family.” Venkas was traveling from Boston to Southern California with a friend from Long Beach, John Hofer, from his family’s annual golf tournament in Cape Cod.

“I didn’t know John,” said Fury. “But like so many others, he came to the Golden State and Torrance to follow his dreams.”

“One can only wonder what great things he could have accomplished,” Fury said, adding that the leaders took a moment to reflect on the first responders and civilian volunteers who leapt into action — and eventually gave their lives. as they attempted to clear and search the wreckage. for the survivors.

“I will never forget the silence when the first plane hit the tower,” said Torrance Police Chief Jeremiah Hart. “The firefighters went up the stairs, they’d never get off, and yet they still went.”

“The police officers were running through the smoke though they could not see and they still left,” he said. “Citizens are passing over the rubble, unable to breathe and yet they are still walking.”

Their sacrifice, Hart said, calls us to action today.

Local first responders ended the program by ringing the bell, which was usually to signal the start of the morning shift, but today, it was to honor their fallen brothers and sisters.

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“It is customary to ring the last bell for our brothers and sisters who have made the supreme sacrifice,” said Torrance Fire Chief Martin Cerna. “To lay down his life selflessly for his fellow man, his job done, his duty done.”

LA County communities commemorate 20th anniversary of 9/11 with heartfelt tribute today
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