At Fire Station 7 in San Francisco, firefighters stood at attention as the flag was raised at 6:59 a.m., the time of the so-called "last alarm," when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. Three-hundred-forty-three New York firefighters were killed. Each of their names was read.
Residents in the North Bay paid tribute by holding a flag-raising ceremony at the College of Marin's Veterans Service Center. Former and current students who served, along with first responders from throughout the county, spoke about where they were 12 years ago this day. The Blue Star Moms of Marin County presented a donation to the center, which opened to students last year.
In Union City, there is a permanent memorial to the people who lost their lives on their way to the Bay Area on Sept. 11 -- the victims of United Flight 93.
Flight 93 was en route to San Francisco from Newark when four passengers fought with terrorists trying to take over the plane. Their deaths may have saved the lives of others.
One by one, the names of 40 individuals aboard Flight 93 were read, along with acknowledgment of an unborn child.
The flight was bound for San Francisco but crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Many of the passengers had Bay Area ties, as did Capt. Jason Dahl, who had graduated from San Jose State University. His sister and brother in law attended the memorial.
"It gives us a place here," Dahl's sister Carol Heiderich said. "I have been to New York. I have been to Shanksville. It's just so important that we have this spot here, too, to honor the victims."
Flight attendants Sharon Caldwell and Stephen Murzi were also at the memorial. Murzi knew and had trained with two of the flight attendants.
"It's a very special day to all of us, and we appreciate the fact that this is here, that there's somewhere for all of us to remember and keep reminding folks what that day means to all of us," he said.
The man behind the memorial, Michael Emerson, is now working on another one at this site in downtown Hayward. It will be a memorial to all Sept. 11 victims and to Hayward's first responders.
"The design's approved, the location's approved," Emerson said. "The memorial's all ready to go. Now it's just collecting money from the local citizens and businesses to actually build it."
The project will require $100,000 in fundraising. The granite has already been donated. Hayward originally turned down the Flight 93 memorial while Union City welcomed it.