A group planning a year-long tour in preparation for the 10-year anniversary of Sept. 11 will kick off the effort with a memorial on the Santa Monica Pier on the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
Known as the World Memorial, the honorary event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11 on the iconic Santa Monica Pier.
The memorial will be held to honor the sacrifice of the public safety and military personnel killed in the line of duty, as well as the nearly 3,000 lives lost during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, PA. In addition, the memorial will pay tribute to the families of victims and members of public safety agencies and the armed forces who serve throughout the country.
“We’re setting up displays to honor the people who lost their lives, the family members who have to continue with their lives and the public safety servants who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice,” said Mitch Mendler, a firefighter/paramedic who serves as president of World Memorial.
The World Memorial federal charity foundation tours Sept. 11 memorial sites in honor of those killed from all across the globe. The organization is working to establish an academic scholarship for surviving children, assist with the donation of equipment and vehicles to emergency services around the world and to build a lasting monument and museum promoting tolerance and truth among all nations and people.
The group’s mission statement is to educate people to never forget what happened by “keeping the memories alive.”
“Our objective is to educate people and teach truth and tolerance,” Mendler said.
The World Memorial display on the pier will feature a 200-pound steel piece of the World Trade Center, missing person flyers of those last seen at the World Trade Center, stories of heroes and victims and newspaper headlines on the day after the attacks.
A centerpiece of the display will be a 30-by-58-foot U.S. flag known as the “Patriot Flag,” which will be flown by the Santa Monica Fire Department. World Memorial is preparing a year-long tour to fly the flag in all 50 states before arriving in Washington, D.C. and New York on the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 next year, Mendler said.
“Santa Monica is technically kicking off the tour,” he said.
The memorial event on the pier is not dedicated to one specific group but is rather “people oriented,” Mendler noted.
In addition to the Patriot Flag, approximately 200 flags will be flown, including those of all U.S. states and each of the countries that lost citizens in the attacks.
Among other events planned are appearances at 6 p.m. by two retired New York Fire Department firefighters, including Lt. Joe Torrillo, who aided in the rescue-recovery operation at the World Trade Center. A candlelight vigil underneath the U.S. and international flags is scheduled at 8 p.m.
Information on World Memorial, www.world-memorial.org/.
Information on the Patriot Flag, www.thepatriotflag.us/.
Santa Monica Fire Department ceremony
In recognition of those who perished in the terrorist attacks, the Santa Monica Fire Department will conduct a brief and solemn remembrance ceremony at each of its fire stations Saturday, Sept. 11.
The public, city employees, and neighbors of the fire stations, who are interested in participating are invited to gather for an observance ceremony at 6:45 a.m. at the following stations:
Station 1, 1444 Seventh St.;
Station 2, 222 Hollister Ave.;
Station 3/4, 1302 19th St.; and
Station 5, 2450 Ashland Ave.