Saturday, September 11, 2021, a local group, Let’s Pray Coronado!, hosted a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony, commemorating the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. Not only did the group ‘remember’ that horrific day that changed our nation, but they also honored local police officers and firefighters who continue to lay down their lives to protect our community. Coronado High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) presented our Nation’s Colors as Patricia Pilcher led the crowd in singing the national anthem. The event drew nearly 200 viewers and over a dozen local first responders, including Coronado Fire Chief Mike Blood and Police Chief Chuck Kaye.
Local pastors and priests, ministry leaders, and active and retired military led moving prayers for the families of September 11, 2001, as well as those millions affected over these past twenty years, both nationally and in Afghanistan.
Coronado resident Ryan Sanders, Firefighter in the Federal Department of Fire San Diego wrote, “The 9/11 ceremony allowed the community of Coronado and local first responders an opportunity to come together and reflect on the events and actions that occurred on September 11th. It was a time to honor victims and recognize the brave acts of civilians, and first responders. I felt humbled to be invited to such a special event and I am thankful for the unconditional support and love this community has for its firefighters.”
Local Don Faul was quoted saying, “It was inspiring to be part of the Coronado community coming together to honor and pray for the first responder, the world, and to remember the tragic events of 9/11.” Sandy Corah’s reaction was that this “was a very meaningful way to remember the victims and honor first responders especially through the many heartfelt prayers.”
Jim Trosper, an attendee and participant of the remembrance presentation is a retired firefighter of 20 years and served on the search and rescue team on 9/11. He stated that he felt “more than honored, he felt blessed. Absolutely blessed.”
Coronado resident, veteran, and West Point graduate, Jen McKenzie shared her experience of being in the Army on 9/11. Her husband also served in special operations for 25 years, where he did 12 deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. “Hearing the West Point graduate share her experiences and read the list of over 80 countries our military is protecting, makes me proud to be an American,” another local expressed.
Many of the attendees commented on the final speaker, a naval officer, who spoke of the ‘audacious Joy” that rises up during times of turmoil and grief such as 9/11. While happiness leaves us wanting, we were reminded that the Joy of the Lord sustains our souls in every season of life. May we continue to look up as we did twenty years ago and remember that healing comes in due season.