The Coast News Group
News Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News Rancho Santa Fe

Oceanside remembers September 11

OCEANSIDE — A moving ceremony at the Pier Amphitheater remembered the losses and bravery of fellow Americans on the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
A 100-foot flag flew from a fire truck ladder raised above the amphitheater. Girl Scouts handed out small American flags to hundreds of spectators as they arrived.
Upbeat gospel music by Kevin Dodds and Tri-City Ministers for Christ opened the ceremony followed by a march of the San Diego County Firefighters Pipes and Drums bagpipes and drumline.
Then spectators joined presenters in a flag salute and singing of the national anthem.
Federal Emergency Management Agency worker George Solano and Fire Chief Darryl Hebert shared their experiences helping with recovery operations in New York following the Sept. 11 attacks.
They described first hand accounts of what they experienced and expressed feelings of anger, fear, despair and hope.
“I had the opportunity to go there and serve seven days after the event,” Hebert said. “The images in my mind are of firefighters leaning on shovels and body parts.”
Herbert said many who helped with the recovery operations realized they could have been victims themselves.
“The term that was coined was ‘never forget,’” Hebert said. “We as Americans may have forgotten all the things that occurred, how we viewed our country, the appreciation of our country.”
Following the speakers’ accounts of their experiences that day, Miss Teen Oceanside pageant princesses placed flowers at the foot of four large signboards that listed the names of the 3,000 victims including the 343 firefighters who died in the attacks.
Also remembered were men and women who served and are now serving in the military.
“We need to never forget the time we have for each other,” Hebert said.
Over the past 10 years the city has held annual memorial ceremonies on Sept. 11.
“For the tenth year we wanted to do it in a bigger way to honor the heroes who went to assist and all the people who were injured or perished,” said Eileen Turk, Parks & Recreation division manager.