The USS Midway Museum along downtown San Diego’s waterfront paid tribute to the lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks Friday with a heartfelt ceremony.
Marking 19 years since the attacks, the ceremony on the flight deck of the San Diego landmark was attended by members of the Fire Department of New York Retirees of San Diego, the National City Fire Department, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, the Wounded Warrior Project and flight crews from United and American airlines.
Organizers said the event was a way to honor the nation’s promise to “never forget” the fallen heroes of that day.
The local memorial ceremony would include honor guards, a 21-gun salute, and taps. The names of fallen first responders would also be read aloud. An emergency helicopter flyover and Harbor Police fireboat water presentation was also planned at the tribute.
Although it's been nearly two decades since the horrific attacks, Bob Allen, president of the FDNY Retirees of San Diego said at Friday's tribute that the pain is as raw as if 9/11 happened yesterday. He misses his friends.
"Between the Port Authority Police, the NYPD and the FDNY, we lost 403 members that day," Allen said. "I don't know. It's like – I think about it every other day now still. It used to be every minute, you know? But now it's getting better. But it is a long time."
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event was not open to the public, but it was streamed live on the USS Midway’s Facebook page.
The pandemic altered many of the traditional 9/11 commemoration ceremonies across the U.S., including the remembrance event in New York City.
The USS Midway is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary.