As an American flag hoisted by two ladder trucks billowed against a blue sky, around 200 firefighters, peace officers, community members, and government officials convened at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens early Saturday morning. The gathering marked the first annual 9/11 Flag of Honor Across America Memorial, which features a flag that bears the names of all who died during the attacks.
The event was hosted by the Council of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA) Teen Court, which was one of 60 groups chosen nationwide to read the names of the 2,983 people who died in the attacks on September 11, 2001, and in a previous World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993, and to remember them in brief biographical sketches. The national event was coordinated by AmeriCorps and Global Youth Justice, Inc.
“The September 11th attacks were examples of the worst in human nature, but they also brought out the very best in human kind … displayed by first responders and average citizens alike,” said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.
Mayor Cathy Murillo also thanked first responders and acknowledged those in mourning. “The City of Santa Barbara wishes you comfort, wishes you peace,” Murillo said. “I hope survivors can lay down their burden and feel the admiration and respect we have for you and your uncommon valor.”
The ceremony concluded with the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard performing a 21-gun salute, firing 21 volleys between seven riflemen. The crowd stood in reverent silence as the volleys echoed through the streets.