Sept. 11 tribute - a solemn new tradition | September 11, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Perspective - September 11, 2009

Sept. 11 tribute - a solemn new tradition

The San Ramon Valley Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony at the All Wars Memorial at Oak Hill Park has not waned in its emotional impact. We commemorate Pearl Harbor and other World War II events but they are history to most of us, no matter how horrible. Sept. 11 is seared into the hearts of each American adult and teen as we can remember the feelings of horror and vulnerability that struck each of us that surreal day in 2001.

Sept. 11 has replaced the JFK assassination as a touchstone for people to ask each other: Where were you when...? Although the assault stunned people around the world, as evidenced by vigils held in other countries' major cities, it was the United States that was attacked and its citizens who felt the blow. We were the ones traumatized by the loss of our Twin Towers and those unlucky enough to be in them that morning, and the hatred evidenced against us.

The necessity for increased security has been new to us, also, although others countries had guarded against terrorism for a long time, with Israel being the most extreme example. We are still grappling with the best way to be safe and putting up with inconveniences in the process. With such vast borders and so many entry points by air, land and sea, it may take awhile to figure it out.

The tragedy of Sept. 11 led to wars and alleged violations of civil liberties, but that's a discussion for another time. After eight years we are beginning to gain some perspective on the attacks and analyze the events that followed them. But today let us commemorate the people who died, and those who are still suffering from the attacks.

The Danville Remembrance Ceremony, sponsored by the Exchange Club of the San Ramon Valley, begins at 6 p.m. at Oak Hill Park on Stone Valley Road. The 45-minute program will include reporters' stories of Ground Zero with Mark Curtis, Anchor,; Tori Campbell, KTVU Television News Anchor; and Lisa Vorderbrueggen, Contra Costa Times columnist. Hundreds of Scouts will take part with a flag salute and police and fire department color guards.