San Marcos officials and community members gathered in front of City Hall Wednesday for a memorial honoring those whose lives were lost in the 9/11 attacks.
The service, titled “Never Forgetting Means Never Forgetting” began at 8:45 a.m., 12 years to the minute after the first hijacked plane struck the World Trade Center in New York.
Several events during the ceremony marked the remembrance of the heroes and victims of the attacks, including a proclamation and moment of silence from Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the subsequent tolling of the historic fire bell.
City Manager Jim Nuse opened the ceremony with a welcome speech and reflected on his personal connection to the tragedy.
“I had a friend who was in the World Trade Center (at the time of the attack),” Nuse said. “But through the seven degrees of separation, we all in some way know someone who has been personally touched by the attack.”
In his speech, Guerrero briefly chronicled the past memorial services held at City Hall and noted the importance of the event.
“Some memorials (in the past) we were standing here in coats and gloves and hats,” Guerrero said. “But what is important to remember about each one of those experiences is that we stood here, took time and remembered.”
Following his speech, Guerrero officially proclaimed Sept. 11 as “Remembrance Day” in San Marcos to remind the community of the tragedy and resilience of American dedication to liberty and justice.
“Whereas these vicious attacks claimed the lives of some 3,000 innocent people, America has responded with a commitment to protect our freedom,” Guerrero said.
Jana Green, administrative coordinator for the San Marcos Fire Department, read from the first chapter of the 9/11 Commission Report to recap the succession of events from that day. Green said the document was important because it kept Americans from repeating errors of history.
Firefighters from the SMFD raised the American flag that was flown on the day of the attacks at half-mast before a crowd of saluting officers and community members.
“It was an honor to have raised the flag on this day,” said firefighter Danny Martinez. “It’s important to not only remember the innocent victims, but also to remember those who gave their lives to help others.”
The ceremony came to a close with the ringing of the commemorative fire bell placed in front of City Hall.
Len Nored, assistant fire chief for the SMFD, said Sept. 11 marks an important addition to existing American ideals—the motto “never forget.”
“(Never forget) reminds us as American citizens to remain ever-vigilant against any other attacks that may occur as well as to continue honoring those who lost their lives that day,” Nored said.
After the service, memorial goers were invited to place an additional flower on a floral mural reading “9/11” to pay their respects.
“The sacrifices made and the lives lost following that tragedy stand as a reminder that freedom doesn’t come free,” Guerrero said.