San Diegans Friday observed the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks at several events around the region, including a ceremony at the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum.
The Midway event included guest speakers from the San Diego Police Department and Fire-Rescue Department. A pair of SDFRD helicopters made a fly-by and the U.S. Border Patrol fired a 21-gun salute.
The attacks in New York City, the Pentagon and aboard a passenger jet that crashed near the small town of Shanksville, Pa., killed 2,977 people. The toll included 343 New York firefighters, 37 Port Authority officers and 23 police officers who died when the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed.
"I think that we become so interested in ourselves and our own causes that we forget that there are people out there willing to sacrifice everything, everyday," Brian Kidwell, a retired San Diego firefighter, told a local media outlet.
Kidwell said that each year he reads the names of the same two victims -- those whose bodies he found in the World Trade Center rubble.
Also Friday, children at Sunnyside Elementary School in Bonita honored military, police officers, firefighters and other local heroes with a pancake breakfast and fundraising run, and Sen. Joel Anderson, R-El Cajon, hosted an observance featuring area elected officials, community leaders and first responders at Grossmont College. The lawn on the main quad of the community college was decorated with small American flags symbolizing each victim.
In the North County, a visiting memorial that includes a 720-pound hunk of debris from the WTC South Tower and other displays were available for viewing at Vince Ross Square, Main and Alvarado streets, in Fallbrook.