Ceremonies, events held to commemorate anniversary of terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001

SAN DIEGO - Several events were held around San Diego Wednesday in observance of the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

They included:

-- an 8 a.m. traditional "Bell Ceremony," at Chula Vista Fire Station 7, where three bells tolled in commemoration of the fallen 343 firefighters and firefighters stood at attention and listened to the ceremony over their radios

-- a 9:30 a.m. blood drive at the San Diego Hall of Champions, 2131 Pan American Plaza in Balboa Park, to benefit the San Diego Blood Bank

-- a 10 a.m. interfaith prayer service at the University of San Diego, Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, 5998 Alcala Park

-- a 10 a.m. salute to uniformed public service officials and their families, display of a 788-pound piece of steel from the World Trade Center, and 8 p.m. ceremony, Balboa Park in front of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, 1788 El Prado

-- a 10:30 a.m. 9/11 remembrance ceremony at Cuyamaca College. 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway

-- a noon ceremony that honored the victims, along with displays of steel from the World Trade Center, part of the Flight 93 fuselage, and limestone from the Pentagon, and a fire department survivor, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, One Park Blvd.

-- at noon, students at Montgomery Middle School spruced up their garden with help from youngsters at Carson and Linda Vista elementary schools as part of a 9/11 day of service

-- a 2:30 p.m. memorial service on the flight deck of the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum at 910 N. Harbor Drive, featuring a helicopter flyover, Harbor Police fireboat display and 21-gun salute

-- an evening colors ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to recognize the "9/11 warrior"

The noon ceremony on the Bayfront also included a display of Ladder Truck 152. The fire truck was at Ground Zero 12 years ago and every firefighter assigned to it perished. Ladder truck 152 made its way down Interstate 15 in a procession Saturday. Firefighters from different departments saluted the truck as it passed.

At its Tuesday meeting, the San Diego City Council observed a moment of silence to remember the victims.

Councilwoman Marti Emerald noted that around 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., and the United Airlines Flight 93 crash site at Shanksville, Pa., along with about 400 first-responders who "ran into danger."

"We see our first responders every day and we assume they will keep us safe and go home at the end of their shifts to their family," Emerald said. But, as 9/11 showed, that's not always the case, she said.

At the Chula Vista bell ceremony, Fire Chief John Davidson said he lost a good friend on Sept. 11, 2011. He said through the sorrow and pain, there's still that renewed sense of hope.

"We don't let such tragic events make us fall and stay down. We get back up, shake it off, and learn from it," Davidson said.

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