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Solemn Ceremony Honors Anniversary of 9/11

Sep 11, 2023 01:48PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
A brief and solemn ceremony on Monday morning in Manhattan Beach marked the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and honored the victims.

Manhattan Beach fire and police personnel marched in a small procession to Manhattan Beach's 9/11 memorial, which sits at the corner of 15th and Valley in front of the main fire station. 

Manhattan Beach Fire Chief Mike Lang then led a moment of silence in front of a gathering of about 30 residents and public officials. 

Lang told MB News that he had personal experience with 9/11, having gone to Brooklyn in the wake of the tragedy to help out at a station that had lost 10 men. His wife also worked at the commercial insurance company Aon, which lost 176 workers in the World Trade Center attacks.

"Every year for me it hits home," said Lang. He said that he had strong visceral memories of the scene - the smells, the "sadness in the air," and the family members that waited helplessly for just a sign of their loved ones.

"One thing that sticks out the most was that the country was so together, and that’s what we need a little bit of today," he said. "I hope we can think of the bigger picture here as 'We are all Americans.'"

9/11 Memorial Contains Columns from World Trade Center

The city's 9/11 memorial is at the corner of 15th and Valley, abutting the police and fire facility. It contains two steel columns that are remnants of the World Trade Center towers that collapsed on September 11, 2001.

The memorial, designed by the late local architect Patrick Killen with Scott Yanofsky and Steve Oliker, is meant to evoke the structure of the World Trade Center towers as the beams reach skyward. The beams were donated by a local Manhattan Beach resident after 9/11.

Manhattan Beach residents have long felt a deep connection to the September 11 terrorist attack.

Manhattan Beach resident Chandler "Chad" Keller, age 29, died on 9/11 as one of the passengers of American Flight 11.  Many other Manhattan Beach locals have friends or relatives who perished on that day.

Manhattan Beach Fire Department Captain/Paramedic Tim O'Brien and Engineer/Paramedic Jeff Sanders had both traveled to New York City in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 to assist in rescue efforts.

September 11 is also a significant day in the Manhattan Beach Police Department: It marks the 71st anniversary of the death of the first Manhattan Beach police officer to die in the line of duty, Frederick Grau.

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