Sierra Martin | Managing Editor
SAN MARCOS – Across the nation, Americans came together to remember and reflect on the 2,977 lives lost on American soil in the four coordinated terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. San Marcos first responders and residents came together on the twentieth anniversary of the tragic event that will never be forgotten.
“Twenty years is a long time, but we promised to never forget, we promised to always remember and we appreciate you helping us to keep that promise,” said San Marcos Fire Department Chief Les Stephens.
The City of San Marcos hosted two events to honor the lives lost on September 11, 2001. The events included a public flag-raising ceremony, followed by a memorial stair climb.
The San Marcos Fire Department Honor Guard raised the flag that flew over City Hall on the day of the attacks at 8:40 a.m. After the flag was raised to half-staff, the poem “The Tolling of the Bell” was read followed by the ringing of the historical fire bell and a moment of silent reflection.
“As we leave today, I ask that you reflect on the positive things that we saw in humanity,” said SMFD Chief Stephens. “The way that we came together as a nation following those events than not on the cowards that perpetrated those attacks on our soil.”
At 8:46 a.m., members of the San Marcos Fire Department and other local first responders participated in the City’s inaugural 9/11 Stair Climb at San Marcos High School’s Rattler Stadium. Participants climbed 110 flights in full gear, equal to the number of stair flights within the World Trade Center towers.
During the stair climb, first responders promised to “Never Forget” the bravery and heroics of their fallen brothers and sisters in service who sacrificed their lives twenty years ago.
San Marcos was not alone in reflecting on 9/11, as communities and organizations across the county came together to honor those who were lost.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) commemorated the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks with an outdoor ceremony at the agency’s headquarters.
“In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, our country came together in a spirit of unity and common dedication to protect the freedoms we hold dear. In the same spirit, we are here now united in memory and together in mission,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said. “We remember the victims and the survivors and their stories. They remind us why we work tirelessly every day and they are the reason we come together annually on this day to reflect on our mission and recommit ourselves to preventing a terrorist attack on America’s transportation systems.”
Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation to mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
“Today marks twenty years since that Tuesday morning when the United States came face-to-face with tragedy and destruction in the wake of terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania,” reads the Governor’s proclamation. “Over the course of a single morning, we lost family members, friends, loved ones, coworkers—each one with hopes and dreams. Twenty years later, we still feel their loss. Today, I encourage Texans to pause in remembrance of the innocent lives lost on September 11, 2001. As we united in the face of destruction and tragedy, let us once again remember the enduring patriotism that binds us together as one nation. Together, we will be a guiding light for generations to come.”