Community members, firefighters, police officers and city leaders assembled at dusk Wednesday at Murrieta’s Town Square Park for the city’s first service in remembrance of the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.
Placed along the sidewalks of Town Square Park were 3,024 illuminated bags bearing the names of those who perished on 9/11, as well as those who have passed as a result of cancer following the attacks at the World Trade Center site.
Council members Randon Lane, Alan Long and Harry Ramos were on hand for Wednesday’s service; as were fire Chief Matt Shobert and police Chief Sean Hadden.
Councilman Long, who also serves as a battalion chief for the Anaheim Fire Department, recently gained consensus in July from Mayor Rick Gibbs and Councilman Harry Ramos to form a committee that would fund a 9/11 memorial statue in Town Square Park.
“I have a goal of a memorial to be placed here in honor of 9/11. Having such a memorial in Murrieta would help people to remember,” Long said.
also recognized the fallen New York City firefighters, stating that the
equivalence of those who were killed would be to every on-duty firefighter from
Riverside to Temecula.
“I lost 343 brothers that day. I will never forget,” Long said.
Shobert also offered praise of the 343 firefighters and 60 police officers who
were killed at the World Trade Center site.
“Twelve years have passed and we still have hope. I am proud of the Murrieta Fire Department. Daily, they display the same spirit as those 343 firefighters,” Shobert said.
appointed police Chief Sean Hadden, recalled the morning of 9/11 as he was
training on the SWAT team at the former police station adjacent to Fire Station
No. 2 on California Oaks Road.
“We came back from training and I saw everyone glued to the TV at the station, watching the north tower on fire. At first, we thought it was just a small plane that accidentally crashed into a building; we didn’t know it was a passenger plane at the time. When we came back from training the second time, we saw the second plane hit the south tower. At that time, I knew things would change for law enforcement. However, despite the evil on that day, good always triumphs evil,” Hadden said.
Following the service, a bell was
rung four times in observance of the four airliners that crashed.
members from the Inland Empire Professional Firefighters Pipes & Drums
performed “Amazing Grace” as the crowd stood at attention.
A book signing event also took place near the Murrieta Public Library for members of the community to write their thoughts and prayers. The book will be kept on display in the Heritage Room of the Library.