By CBSLA Staff

YORBA LINDA (CBSLA) — Friday is the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but most public memorials have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed in coordinated attacks on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Every year on this date, Southern Californians typically come together for somber remembrances or to spend the day performing acts of service, but with COVID-19 still a danger, large gatherings are a violation of public health guidelines and most events have been canceled.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that more than 4,000 meals would be delivered to first responders, firefighters and health care providers to mark the somber anniversary.

“This is a day that is solemn, a day that every single year, we’ve usually come to Elysian Park, to the memorial to see one of the beams from the World Trade Center,” Garcetti said. “We all remember where we were. We all remember how it felt. We all remember the pain and the panic … and we know too the bravery of people who went into those heaps to find survivors.”

One memorial took place at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda. Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy and Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes spoke, but the event was not open to the public.

“Never forget – that’s really the mantra,” Fennessy said. “If people are forgetting we need to remind them.”

The memorial was livestreamed on youtube.com/nixonfoundation.

OCFA firefighter Scott Townley said he has also had to cancel his annual 9/11 memorial at his Fullerton home.

Orange County firefighters rang their fire station bells to memorialize the victims at the times the planes slammed into the towers in New York, but it was not publicized so as not to draw a crowd.

Los Angeles Rep. Maxine Waters said the ongoing pandemic is a reminder of the resilience Americans displayed in the wake of Sept. 11.

“As our country is once again faced with another crisis, a deadly pandemic that has infected over 6 million people and taken nearly 200,000 lives in the United States, let us all remember the inherent benevolence within each of us,” she said in a statement. “In times of crisis, the American people have always pulled together, united in a common goal to ensure our country remains a light and beacon of hope and freedom for people around the world. The courage demonstrated today by our nurses, doctors, sanitation workers, postal workers, and other essential employees mirrors the tenacity exhibited by those first responders in New York City

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