Orange County firefighter Scott Townley eagerly awaits the crowds for his annual 9/11 memorial around his home Tuesday, but he is also already planning for the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
In its 17th year, Townley’s memorial has added names of victims who have died since Sept. 11, 2001.
“And we’ve added additional flags,” Townley said.
As of Monday, a few hundred people had visited the memorial in front of the Fullerton resident’s home.
Townley hasn’t seen a waning of interest in marking the anniversary of the attacks.
“Last year, it was absolutely packed,” he said. “We had over a thousand people on Sept. 11.”
This year, “I had to add about 30 or 40 names of military (troops) we lost this year,” Townley said. “I’m already planning for the 20th anniversary. We’ve got some big things planned for the 20th anniversary.”
The memorial has grown over the years. This year, for instance, he has about 3,300 pictures of victims mounted on 12 four-by-eight walls. The victims include first-responders who died from injuries sustained from digging out Ground Zero in New York City, he said.
As for those who have died in combat triggered by the 9/11 attacks, that number exceeds 5,700, he said.
Elsewhere in Orange County, fire stations will hold ceremonies, and a main one at Orange County Fire Authority’s headquarters in Irvine.
Orange County motorcycle enthusiasts will continue their annual tradition of a “9/11 Memorial Ride.” It begins and ends at a popular biker hangout, Cook’s Corner in Trabuco Canyon.
The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum will also hold an event, which will be attended by Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy and Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes.
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