Firefighters across the city lined the streets in front of their stations and stood at attention under gray morning skies to observe the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
At 6:59 a.m., firefighters rang their station bells, then at 7 a.m. they lowered the American flag to half staff and stood at attention while the names of 343 firefighters killed in the attacks were read.
“You think about families, you think about the reason these firefighters and emergency workers went into that building with the intention of bringing people out alive and they didn’t even get a chance to do that,” said fire spokeswoman Lt. Mindy Talmadge, who stood with 21 other firefighters and officers in front of Station Seven in the Mission District. “It’s very emotional.”
Chief Joanne Hayes-White attended the ceremony at the small Station 19, near San Francisco State University, Talmadge said.
The reading of the names took about 12 to 15 minutes, Talmadge said. She said members of the public are welcome to participate in the ceremonies, which take place at all 42 San Francisco firehouses. “I imagine we’ll do it every year,” she said.
In all, 2,974 people died when planes that had been hijacked by terrorists crashed into the two World Trade Center towers, the pentagon and a field inPennsylvania.
Watch a video of New York firefighters' memorial: Silence marks start of 9/11 remembrance