"My heart goes out to all the families and all the colleagues of everyone who was lost. It left an indelible loss on our country," said Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson at the annual ceremony held by San Francisco firefighters.
"There will never be a September 11th where we in the San Francisco Fire Department don't do something to commemorate this event and the members that we lost in New York on that day," she said.
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Firefighters held a moment of silence, read the names aloud of the 343 firefighters who died and lowered the flag to half staff as dignitaries and firefighters quietly watched and listened.
The mood was very different at Market and Van Ness but the intent was the same as volunteers came together to pack meals for those in need.
"It's just doing good for the community. Taking a day of tragedy and turning it into a day of helping others in celebration of doing good," said volunteer Marissa Fernandez.
More than 1,000 volunteers hope to pack 275,000 meals for the San Francisco Marin Food Bank. This day of service is happening in 8 US cities with the goal of creating this in 20 cities by the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
Pop music was blaring through the huge room as volunteers talked and laughed while working. But they say the victims from 9-11 and the evil behind the attacks were still on their minds.
"It's obviously a tough day. I remember where I was and how old I was and the exact moment. It's a tough day but I think it is good to give back and recycle that energy into something positive," said volunteer Morgan Mahalak.
The nonprofit group 9/11 Day created the day of service in 2002. This is the second year volunteers have packed meals on this day in San Francisco. Other 9/11 Day project locations include New York City, Boston, Chicago, Phoenix, Dallas, Atalanta, St. Louis and Los Angeles.
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Just whistle while you work.... 😋🤗💃 pic.twitter.com/i7T9jhgI1V— Amy Hollyfield (@amyhollyfield) September 11, 2019