On the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, San Benito County residents paused to remember that fateful day with solemn ceremonies that honored those who perished as well as those who responded to aid survivors.
Local veterans held a ceremony at 1 p.m. at the Veterans’ Memorial Building in downtown Hollister. There was a prayer, a moment of silence and the National Anthem, and the American Legion Post 69 presented plaques to the fire department, sheriff’s office, police department and other emergency responders.
Among the speakers at the ceremony were Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez, Supervisor Margie Barrios, Sheriff Darren Thompson, Police Chief David Westrick, and Bernie Ramirez, VFW Post Commander. At the end of the ceremony a member of the honor guard played “Taps.”
At San Benito High School, maintenance staff painted a large flag on the grassy hill in the center of campus known as “Senior Mound” and students, faculty and staff paused for a moment of silence during the usually hectic lunch period. Teachers were encouraged to read a memo to their classes about Patriots’ Day from Associated Student Body commissioners of cultural awareness and some shared their personal recollections with students.
The school band and choir ended the moment of silence with a stirring rendition of the National Anthem.
Student Activities Director Catalina Lemos called it a “special day” as she thanked those who participated in the commemorations.
As has become its practice in recent years, the Hollister Future Farmers of America chapter at SBHS used flags to design a city skyline in honor of the 2,977 lives lost on 9-11. More than 70 students showed up Friday morning to place the flags and observe a moment of silence.