SAN DIEGO — Hundreds gathered Monday on the flight deck of USS Midway Museum to remember and honor those who perished on Sept. 11, 2001.  

“This was the worst attack on U.S. soil. We need to remember this day to honor and respect those that serve and those that perished,” retired FDNY Drew Kinash said. 

He’s in San Diego to represent those who responded to the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
Attendees sat through an unusually heavy rain and wind for September in San Diego.  

The annual event comprised of ‘FDNY retirees of San Diego,’ the USS Midway Museum, San Diego Fire & Rescue Department, National City FD, SDFF Emerald Society and the Wounded Warrior Project all paying tribute our fallen heroes and keeping the promise to “Never Forget.”  

Don Miner is a retired National City Battalion Chief who’s been involved in the USS Midway’s 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony every year. 

“We all just kind of watched in disbelief and we knew it was never going to be the same. We saw the buildings come down and we knew there’d be a lot of firefighters and first responders perished,” Miner said. 

Helicopters performed a flyover as the Coast Guard Color Guard presented the Colors.   

Then the sounds of the tolling of bells as the names of every first responder who died on 9/11 was read aloud. San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria was the first to take the podium to read 5 names of fallen heroes.

All 343 names of those who died – firefighters, police officers, first responders, that bravely responded that Tuesday morning, running into the doomed twin towers of the World Trade Center knowing full well they may not come back out. 

“The things that those firefighters did and the policemen and all those people that responded they save thousands of people, it’s amazing,” said Don Minor, who did visit Ground Zero after the attacks.

Twenty-three years later, almost as many firefighters and first responders who survived the attack but worked Ground Zero have also lost their lives from exposure to noxious materials left behind in the rubble.