Cities throughout western Riverside County this weekend will mark the 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with flag ceremonies, patriotic reflections and other commemorative events.
In Corona, remembrance services will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, when volunteers gather at the Historic Civic Center, where miniature flags will be erected in rows, with each flag representing one of the 2,977 people killed as a result of the acts of terrorism perpetrated by Islamist radicals who hijacked four airliners.
“We will commemorate this horrific terrorism attack on America,” according to the Circle City Rotary Club, which is organizing the event. “Our goal is to gather as many residents as possible who wish to participate (in the commemoration).”
On Sunday, Sept. 11, beginning at about 5 a.m., members of the rotary and other volunteers will begin reading each victim’s name while standing among the flags outside the Historic Civic Center at 815 W. Sixth St.
“We will pause for 21 seconds at 5:46 a.m. when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the first tower in New York City, again at 6:03 a.m. when United Airlines Flight 175 hit the second tower, 6:37 a.m. when American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, and 7:03 a.m. when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after the passengers aboard realized their fate and rushed the front of the plane, causing the terrorists to loose control and crash,” the rotary said.
All of the times represent the three-hour difference between the west and east coasts.
There will be a color guard ceremony and brief remarks by city officials during the service.
“We will continue reading (victims’) names until we finish announcing each person,” the rotary said.
The service is expected to continue until 10 a.m.
At 4 p.m. Sunday, the city of Temecula will hold a 21st anniversary commemorative service at the Duck Pond, near the corner of Rancho California and Ynez roads.
“As we reflect on Sept. 11 and the events that transcended the world 21 years ago, we will never forget the innocent lives lost, including our courageous first responders,” Temecula Mayor Matt Rahn said.
He will lead the remembrance service, which will include a moment of silence and remarks by other City Council members, as well as possibly public safety officials.
In Murrieta, a tribute is planned at 6 p.m. Sunday in Town Square Park, near Kalmia Street and Jefferson Avenue.
“The city will pay respects to those who perished that day with an observance ceremony,” according to a city statement.
Mayor Jonathan Ingram is slated to lead the service, joined by other municipal representatives.
In the past, the city of Riverside has held a “Day of Service,” with neighborhood cleanups, blood drives and other similar activities, to mark the anniversary of 9/11. It was unclear whether anything had been formally planned this week.
Last year, for the 20th anniversary commemoration, the city premiered the documentary “9/11: One City Remembers,” featuring archival video, photographs shown publicly for the first time and interviews with members of Riverside County Urban Search & Rescue Task Force 6.
The task force firefighters, mostly from the city of Riverside, spent 11 days at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the World Trade Center collapse.
“A truly revealing look behind the scenes as a 60-member team faced with stark realities and painful visages is still buoyed by a grateful people throughout,” producer Tim Roche said of the film.