Santa Maria firefighters conducted simple ceremonies Sunday morning at each city fire station to commemorate the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in a Pennsylvania field.

They were among similar ceremonies conducted that morning at the Lompoc Fire Department headquarters station and at each of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department’s 16 stations.

A more elaborate ceremony was carried out at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens in Santa Barbara.

At Santa Maria’s five stations, firefighters pulled their apparatus out of the bays onto the driveways, then gathered around the flagpole as the station’s tones were sounded.

After a brief message of remembrance, the flags were lowered to half staff in honor of the 2,996 people who died as a result of the attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon and the hijacked airliner that crashed in Virginia when passengers resisted the terrorists.

Of those killed at the World Trade Center, 343 were firefighters and 71 were law enforcement officers who responded to the scene.

In all, 102 countries lost citizens in the attacks, which are still considered the deadliest acts of terror in world history.

The annual ceremonies are part of America’s pledge to “never forget” those who died that day.

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