Community pays tribute to fallen first responders at 9/11 memori - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Community pays tribute to fallen first responders at 9/11 memorial in San Luis Obispo

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Dozens of people attended a 9/11 remembrance ceremony at San Luis Obispo's Fire Station 1 on Monday morning to honor the 403 first responders who died in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

The ceremony opened with bagpipes and the lowering of the American flag to half-staff. 

San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell and San Luis Obispo City Fire Chief Garret Olson each spoke to the crowd at the commencement of the bell ceremony.
"To symbolize the devotion of these brave souls and their duty, a special signal of three rings held three times represents the end of our comrades' duties and that they will be returning to quarters," Olson said. "Their last alarm, they are going home."

Oliver Hicks and Augusta Holyfield, both San Luis Obispo High School seniors, read essays on courage and 9/11. 

Doug Morgan, a Vietnam War veteran and retired firefighter, tearfully recalled the day the nation was attacked. 

"On 9/11, 300 of my brothers died," Morgan said. "It's still a loss, it still feels bad."

Station 1 is home to a memorial consisting of 403 metal posts embedded in an arc and a 1,500-pound steel beam from the World Trade Center. On Monday, the beam was covered with white roses placed by attendees.

"It makes me feel good for people to come out and show support and remember the sacrifices that others have made for them," Morgan said. 

"Following the event, the camaraderie between law enforcement and fire services I believe was much stronger," said San Luis Obispo City Deputy Fire Chief Keith Aggson about 9/11.
As for the younger generation who may have not been present or are too young to remember what happened, they too, paid their respects. 

"Hearing a lot of stories about veterans and about people who have given their lives for us to live in America and be able to do what we want to do, it sort of has become a much more emotional day," Holyfield said. 

Students from San Luis Coastal Unified School District also sang, read poems, and presented artwork reflecting 9/11.

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