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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Remembering 9-11

I had the honor of being asked to speak at the 9-11 memorial arranged each year by LB Fire Fighter Gary Biggerstaff. Several hundred people crammed into Bennett street to see the crosses Gary had placed on his lawn as he has each year since the attack on the World Trade Center. Several young people sang. The crowd sang along.

The crosses with names help us remember the fire fighters and police who died that day. Gary does an incredible job helping us to remember the sacrifices that were made that day.

My remarks were brief, as I told people that on that day some ordinary people did some very extraordinary things and that what struck me the most about that day was that people who did not know each other had to rely upon each other and that perhaps we needed to remember this as we look around at the people who were gathered today --that the things that divide us in this country pale in comparison with the things that unite us.

I also added that 47 people from California died that day --including Dorothy Dearaujo, 82, of Naples, who was known as the neighborhood artist, drawing the area's boats, shops and homes in detailed water colors. An avid traveler, Dearaujo visited France, Australia, Italy and Brazil. She earned a bachelor's degree in art at California State University, Long Beach. She was survived by a son, Tim whom she had been visiting i Boston before she boarded United 175 that crashed into the south tower.

On that day, Dorothy and others boarded airplanes with strangers and no one knew what was going to happen on those flights. We never know what is going to happen on a given day. Perhaps we need to live our lives like it will be the last day or the last time we see people. Maybe we'd all be a little nicer, a little more civil, a little less critical.

Save Station 18

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