Twelve years ago, Sept. 11 was just an ordinary day, maybe somebody's birthday or wedding anniversary. Now, it marks a point in American history that those who were old enough to remember, will never forget.
Eleven years ago, the course of U.S. history and policy this all changed after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and plane crash in Pennsylvania. On Tuesday afternoon, San Ramon Valley residents attended an annual remembrance
At Oak Hill Park in Danville, meant to memorialize the nearly 3,000 people who died on the fateful day.
"Our remembrance is for all who were touched by Sept. 11," said Karen Stepper, Danville council member and president of the Exchange Club, which organizes the event.
A line of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts holding American flags wound their way into formation, behind the San Ramon Valley High School chamber singers, who serenaded the crowd with the National Anthem.
"As I drove through my street, I saw American flags hanging," said San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson. "I remembered how special it is to live in America."
The American flag was raised, the white-winged doves were released and the Wreath of Honor was recognized, all symbolizing patriotism.
The keynote speaker for this years' event was Mary O'Donnell, a retired Rear Adm. with the U.S. Coast Guard, who quoted John F. Kennedy: "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty," O'Donnell read.
Fire Chief Richard Price also honored veterans, those currently serving and the deceased, including Joshua "Chachi" Corral. Marine Lance Cpl. Corral was killed in action Nov. 18 during his first tour of duty in Afghanistan.
"We are a stronger nation because of Sept. 11," said Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich.