LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — On the 18th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on American soil, police and fire officials gathered with community members across the Southland Wednesday to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed nearly
3,000 people.

In Los Angeles, first responders gathered at Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center in Elysian Park in a plaza that includes a 23-ton section of metal recovered from the World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the attack that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. The metal wreckage is the largest remnant of the destroyed World Trade Center outside New York City.

Long Beach held a remembrance ceremony at Fire Station 1 on Magnolia Avenue, where they observed a moment of silence at 9:11 a.m.

South Pasadena, Culver City and Riverside also held early morning ceremonies at their respective fire stations.

In Beverly Hills, victims were remembered at the city’s 9/11 Memorial Garden in a ceremony that included a wreath-laying, bell-ringing and a playing of “Taps.”

In Fullerton, Orange County firefighter Scott Townley took a group of students from Orangethorpe Elementary School to his home for a tour of his memorial of flags and photos of the thousands of victims of the terrorist attacks. Townley this year added a four-foot high replica of the Twin Towers that are lit up with blue lights at night – a nod to the lights that were put in place of the fallen towers after the attack. Also new this year is the addition of about 200 more names of rescue workers and first responders who died from illnesses related to the dust and toxins released in the attack, and the names of some 5,800 troops who have died in combat triggered by 9/11.

Norman Mineta, the U.S. Transportation Secretary on 9/11, was at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda to discuss his response at the times of the attacks.

Many communities will mark the solemn anniversary with a day of service. In Los Angeles, more than 1,100 volunteers will pack 300,000 meals for people in need after the Elysian Park ceremony, while in Riverside, people were encouraged to donate at a blood drive at City Hall and cleanup teams will dedicate an hour to picking up trash across the city.

In Murrieta, the city will hold a “Sunset 9/11 Service” at 7 p.m. next to its 9/11 Memorial on the Juniper Street side of Town Square Park. The ceremony will include a color guard presentation by first responders.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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