It has been 11 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, and today the Bay Area is marking the somber milestone with a variety of memorial events ranging from the traditional to the creative.
The nation and world stood in shock when hijacked airplanes crashed into the New York skyline and the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., on Sept. 11, 2001. A fourth plane, San Francisco-bound United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.
Flag-lowering and bell-ringing ceremonies were held this morning in cities including San Francisco, San Jose, Gilroy and Livermore.
A “healing drum circle” is planned tonight in Oakland. The 7 p.m. event at the Numi Tea Garden at 2230 Livingston St. in Oakland will be led by Attitudinal Healing Connection executive director Kokomon Clottey.
“It’s okay to remember what happened, but let’s not dwell,” Clottey said.
Instead, the drumming leader suggested, “use creativity to bring about amelioration of fear.”
Today’s anniversary “opened up a lot of old wounds, fear and challenges for friends of people who died,” Clottey said.
More than 70 drums will be available for anyone to play at the circle, which has been taking place on the Sept. 11 anniversary for the past four years, Clottey said.
At AT&T Park, red-white-and-blue banners containing the names of everyone who lost their lives 11 years ago are hanging outside the stadium in Willie Mays Plaza.
San Francisco Giants spokeswoman Shana Daum said the banners have gone up every year since 2002 at the plaza, with a center banner stating, “We’ll Never Forget 9/11.”
In Napa, a project is under way to create a memorial park on Main Street in the downtown area that will feature an art installation to honor the victims.
The park, which has yet to break ground, is expected to be completed by Sept. 11, 2013, said Jeff Gerlomes, organizer of the Napa 9/11 Memorial Coalition.
Although the project is still getting under way, part of the art installation that will be featured in the park was unveiled this week.
Today, the public is invited to view the installation, which consists of two glass panels containing all of the 9/11 victims’ names. The names are etched into the 15-foot tall, 1.5-inch thick glass panes.
The panels are available for public viewing today at the Gordon Huether Hay Barn Gallery at 1821 Monticello Road in unincorporated Napa until 4 p.m., Gerlomes said.
The memorial park project will eventually incorporate more than 30 tons of steel beams from the World Trade Center site.
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors planned to hold a memorial ceremony at its meeting in Martinez this morning.
In San Jose, a 6 p.m. flame-lighting ceremony will be held at the 9/11 monument at the Oak Hill Cemetery, located at 300 Curtner Ave.
A ceremony was also held at the cemetery this morning to mark the times the twin towers were hit in Manhattan, along with the moments the planes crashed in Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon.
This morning at the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Va., President Barack Obama spoke, noting, “this is never an easy day.”
“Eleven times we have marked another Sept. 11 come and gone,” the president said. “Eleven times, we have paused in remembrance, in reflection, in unity and in purpose.”
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News