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L.A. Residents And Law Enforcement Officers Remember 9/11

Celeste Alvarez |
September 11, 2013 | 6:49 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Alfred Edward Moch awaits the start of the Los Angeles World Trade Center Memorial ceremony Wednesday morning. Photo by Celeste Alvarez
Alfred Edward Moch awaits the start of the Los Angeles World Trade Center Memorial ceremony Wednesday morning. Photo by Celeste Alvarez

Carrying an American flag embroidered with the New York skyline and the date September 11, 2001 lining the top, New York native Alfred Edward Moch took a seat at the Los Angeles World Trade Center Memorial ceremony Wednesday morning, as he has been doing for the past 12 years.

“It’s a day for reflection. Not only of my involvement, but of everyone’s involvement,” Moch said. “In the 12 years since then I have seen extreme hate and extreme love. I try to balance it; I try to understand it.”

The day is especially significant for Moch who experienced the tragedy firsthand while living in New York, and who lost his cousin John Cherry, who gave his life while working at the center.

“I think one of the things I have learned through all this is patience," said Moch. "I think that’s what America needs to understand. I think we now need to use patience."

Patience and remembrance were brought up repeatedly this morning, when several Los Angeles city officials and law enforcement officers gathered downtown to honor those who lost their lives during the 2001 terrorist attack.

“We wondered that day how hope would be reborn in this world, let alone in our country,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said during the ceremony.  “Twelve years later each year we come out to commemorate and it’s a difficult exercise to do because at once each year washes a little of the immediacy away, but it doesn’t ever heal the wound.”

Still feeling the impact of that horrific day, Los Angeles native Sandra Robbin explained why she feels the need to come out each year.

“It’s so emotional for me every time I come here,” Robbin said. “I think of the people that lost their life and it’s strange but I just think that there were people that were leading much better lives than I was and it caused me to take stock in my own life.”

Encouraged to be a better person, Robbin still gets teary eyed when she thinks back to the many people who have changed her life.

“Because I am alive and on this Earth, I feel like I need to deserve being here,” Robbin said.  “By coming here and hearing their stories I just feel like I’m a part of a community where everyone feels the same way.”

The ceremony took place at the LAFD Leadership Academy, where people gathered to pay tribute to the 343 New York firefighters who perished during the terrorist attack. People gathered arounf the piece of the World Trade Center South Tower that is now stands a monument to the strength of the many law enforcement officers who lost their lives will trying to save others.

Although the crowd of visitors was smaller than in previous years, Robbin made it a point to let the LA Fire Chief Brian Cummings know she will continue to come out to the memorial event for as long as this continue to have them.

“I shook the chief’s hand to say I know there’s not many people here this time, but to please continue to have it anyway and he told me he would,” she said.  

Reach Staff Reporter Celeste Alvarez here and follow her on Twitter here.



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