MALIBU (CBSLA.com) — Thousands of flags dotted the lawn at Pepperdine University Tuesday to honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.
KNX 1070′s John Brooks reports the ceremony is among several taking place across Southern California on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.
Nearly 3,000 flags — one for each of the 9/11 victims — were on display on the Pepperdine campus in what has become an annual tradition at the university. The flags will remain on display until Sept. 19.
Residents Michael and Laura were among those driving down the Pacific Coast Highway when they spotted the Alumni Park lawn covered with flags.
“Just very sobering, very striking, emotional,” said Laura.
“The flag’s a beautiful flag, but to see all of those like that, you know it’s not just a celebration of the flag,” Michael added. “It’s maybe a celebration of our resilience.”
Pasadena resident Kevin Danni was just 22 years old when he was on the 61st floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11, where he was on his second day of training with Morgan Stanley when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North Tower.
Danni – who managed to escape 12 minutes before the collapse of the South Tower – told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO he will never forget the men and women who sacrificed their lives on that day.
“I think back to them, I think back to all the rescue workers and firefighters who spared their lives to save so many others,” said Danni.
Danni told CBS2 back in May of 2011 that the announcement that Osama bin Laden was dead “gave me chills” and he credited the President and the military for killing the most infamous terrorist in the world.
Despite the terrible loss of life and nearly losing his own on 9/11, however, Danni said every anniversary is a day for thanksgiving as well as mourning.
“For me personally, this is just a reminder of how lucky I am and I’m just grateful for all my gifts, I’ve got two beautiful children, my wife and I are married almost 8 years now,” he said. “It could’ve been a lot different for me and for so many others, but there were so many survivors that did make it out of the building that day.”
Three-hundred-and-forty-three firefighters, 60 police officers and eight paramedics were among the nearly 3,000 people who died when three hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Click here for a full list of scheduled events throughout Southern California marking the anniversary of 9/11.