With a message of “never forget,” Santa Barbara County firefighters and law enforcement gathered with members of the public Tuesday to do just that as they remembered those who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the nation.
A fourth airliner was brought down by passengers over Shanksville, Pa., foiling the terrorists’ attempt to attack elsewhere in Washington.
As the morning fog burned off the foothills Tuesday, dozens of people gathered around the firefighters’ memorial at the Santa Barbara County Fire Department headquarters on Cathedral Oaks Road.
With the American flag behind him waving at half staff, Sheriff Bill Brown lauded the heroes who gave their lives that day, and he encouraged everyone to live theirs to the fullest every day.
County Fire Chief Mike Dyer also spoke of the 343 firefighters who gave their lives to serve others that day.
“They were going up the stairs as others were going down,” he said.
A moment of silence was held at Tuesday morning’s ceremony, as well as at the Board of Supervisors meeting held shortly afterward.
Supervisor Joni Gray, who was chairwoman of the board at the time of 9/11, recalled a surreal feeling as the board learned about the attacks. Supervisor Doreen Farr, who was serving on the county’s Planning Commission at the time, agreed.
“I remember that air of unreality,” Farr said. “You just couldn’t quite grasp that it was really happening.”
Supervisor Janet Wolf said she was moved when she went to Station 12 for a moment of silence on Tuesday morning, and recalled speaking with a firefighter who had been on duty that morning.
“For me this morning, there was a sense of remembering all of those who sacrificed so much,” she said. “But it’s also the people who keep us safe all the time. It goes on every day and every hour.”