September 11th, 2021 marks the twentieth anniversary of the attacks in New York and Pennsylvania. Across the Central Coast, different cities took to memorialize those lost and the continued sacrifices by service members both in-person as well as virtually, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Service members and their families spoke about how personal today is, even family members who weren’t born until after the twin towers fell. The daughters of Morro Bay Fire Chief Daniel McCrain shared their thoughts on a somber anniversary.
The oldest daughter, Madison, said, “We are remembering the lives that were lost in the Twin Towers, but it makes it to where we will always keep them in our minds, in our hearts.”
“I feel extra safe because he is fire chief, because Fire Chiefs are supposed to keep everyone safe. Even the families,” said Louie, the younger.
In San Luis Obispo County, some cities held virtual ceremonies while others hosted in-person events. Morro Bay held two memorials.
“This for me is remembering those who laid down their lives, so they could save people,” said attendee RK Meier.
Community members honored first responders for their sacrifices in past crises as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Morro Bay Mayor Pro Tempore Jeff Heller said, “We cannot honor our first responders enough, not only in the past, but in the present.”
Flags flew at half staff, but attendees said they felt joy while remembering those who were lost.
Chief McCrain described the event mood as, “Somber but hopeful and happy.”
Jäger Meier, another event attendee and brother of RK, said “We can overcome mass tragedy, but we will never forget what happened on 9/11.”
In Santa Barbara county, local fire and law enforcement agencies held a ceremony with speakers, a fly over, and a 21 gun salute.
The memorial event at the Morro Bay Community Center also honored retired Fire Chief Steve Knuckles, as well as the city’s 150TH birthday.