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On 11th Anniversary of 9/11, Community Pauses to Remember, Reflect

Public stands united with Santa Barbara County firefighters and law enforcement in honoring the victims of the terrorist attacks

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.

Nearly 3,000 victims perished 11 years ago as hijackers flew three airliners into the World Trade Center towers in Lower Manhattan in New York and the Pentagon building outside Washington, D.C.

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.

Santa Barbara County firefighters pause for a moment of reflection Tuesday. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)
Santa Barbara County firefighters pause for a moment of reflection Tuesday. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

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.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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