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9/11 anniversary remembered in Santa Barbara by renewed commitments and personal stories

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – With a large American flag hanging from an extended fire department ladder truck outside of the Santa Barbara Police headquarters, first responders and members of the public remembered the 9/11 tragedies, 22 years ago today.

"We honor the memory of those we lost by reaffirming our commitment to safeguarding the City of Santa Barbara. We pledge to never forget the sacrifices made on that day," said Santa Barbara City Fire Chief Chris Mailes.

Color guards with the Santa Barbara Police Department raised, and then lowered a flag at the main flag pole. It sits at half staff in honor of those who lost their lives in the attacks.

Chief Kelly Gordon recalled being sent out as part of a search team to ground zero of the tragedy. Her memories of the magnitude of the impact are vivid. 
"It is really important to me and it should be really important to all of us that we talk about the events of that day with our younger generation," she said.

On her assignment in New York, heading to the scene each day she recalls the public lining their route.  They were "cheering us for the work that was being done. Those are the things we need to remember.  Those are the things in our community that bring us together," said Gordon.

Also speaking at the event was Mayor Randy Rowse.

The event concluded with bag pipes playing Amazing Grace.

At the Santa Barbara waterfront, the Young Americas Foundation placed about 3000 flags in the sand west of Stearns Wharf.

The organization also set up a special pop-up informational site, and message signs about the attacks and victims.

Many passersby stopped for photos and to talk about what they remember about the incidents. Among them were international travelers who added a perspective from beyond the U.S. borders.

Ceremonies and events took place throughout the tri-counties including at all of the Santa Barbara County fire stations, Montecito Fire and Carpinteria Fire headquarters.

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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