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10 Years Later - Remembering Tragic Loss
Solemn ceremonies in Escalon and Farmington marked the 10th anniversary of that fateful September day - 9/11 - in 2001 when terrorists hijacked planes and destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, damaged the Pentagon and took aim at a Washington, DC landmark but fell short of the target.

In Escalon, the ceremony was hosted on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 9:11 a.m. and included a brief prayer, a firefighter's bell ceremony and the lowering of the flag at the Coley Avenue firehouse to half-mast.

Farmington, which hosted the ceremony at its firehouse on Sunday, Sept. 11, started the observance at 8:46 a.m., the time 10 years ago when the first hijacked plane struck the North tower.

Thousands of people - predominantly Americans - were killed that day, including more than 300 firefighters who responded to the scene in hopes of rescuing people from the towers.

The fourth hijacked plane went down in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers learned of the hijacking and tried to gain control of the plane back from the hijackers. The plane was believed to be heading either to the U.S. Capitol Building or the White House but never made it to its destination.

Farmington Fire Chief Conni Bailey thanked all those that turned out on Sunday, noting Farmington had never had a 9/11 ceremony before. This year, to mark the 10th anniversary, a crew of firefighters brought the American and California State flags down from the flagpole, then replaced them with a brand new American flag and a special commemorative 9/11 flag. Bailey provided some numbers: 87 victims died on the flight that crashed into the North tower at 8:46 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. There were 60 victims on board the flight that crashed into the South tower. There were 2,606 victims that died in the towers and on the ground. Of that total, she said, 343 were firefighters, 23 were New York City police officers, one bomb sniffing dog and 37 Port Authority police.

In addition, 59 victims died when the plane crashed into the Pentagon, along with 125 on the ground there, and there were 41 victims on the flight that crashed into the Pennsylvania field.

Bailey said her numbers did not include the hijackers because they were the aggressors, not the victims.

Farmington firefighter John Kalebaugh conducted the firefighters bell ceremony and fire captain Matt Bailey read the firefighters prayer. Taps was played as the assembled crowd gathered in quiet reflection of the lives lost and the way the world changed following that day.