By Miriam Raftery
Photo: World Trade Center burning on September 11, 2001; screenshot from video taken by San Diego County resident Mar Tomic
September 11, 2021 (San Diego) – Twenty years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks claimed thousands of lives in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania, San Diego County residents shared their memories of the tragedy in response to inquiries from East County Magazine and on social media.
Sheriff Bill Gore posted on Twitter, “The images are seared into our memories. We watched in disbelief as passenger planes turned into weapons. It was a time of great pain and heroism. Honor guard members reflect on 9/11 and how it transformed their purpose into a life of service. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLuKaoVAH1M “ Many of those in the honor guard spoke of how the attacks inspired them to protect their country."
Others reacted differently. Local resident Mar Tomic was in New York City to witness first hand the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil. “I had a chance to see it on TV but also from my apartment in Brooklyn. I took my camera and wandered the streets for many days after the tragedy. I edited this video 7 days after 9.11.” View video: https://vimeo.com/29079284. Tomic’s video captured not only the chaos and sorrow in the days following the attacks, but at a time when the nation was gearing up for war to retaliate against Afghanistan for harboring Al Qaeda leader bin Laden, Tomic’s footage also showed some New Yorker’s rallying for peace even amid candlelight vigils for those lost.