Danville resident Joe Visculia realized the importance of family and community on September 11, 2001.
Visculia had a meeting at the World Trade Center on 9/11. His meeting, however, was postponed, so he was instead at the World Trade Center Hotel at the time of the attacks, saving his life.
He, and hundreds of others from Danville and the surrounding area, gathered at Danville's on Sunday, to remember those who lost their lives 10 years ago, on that tragic day in United States History.
Visculia, who was the keynote speaker at the event, said since the attacks, he has played a bigger role in both his family and community, because of the lessons he learned from that day.
“I realized what the American Dream meant,” he said. “It’s not about the house or the cars, but serving loved ones.”
Other local groups helped pay tribute to the lives lost that day.
Pearl Harbor survivors, Danville Police, the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Rear Admiral Winston Copeland, and Gold Star families (families who have lost loved ones in wars), were also at the event.
During the ceremony, white doves were released to represent peace. Roses, honoring lives lost on 9/11, were dropped from a helicopter by the Vietnam Veterans of Diablo Valley.
Carol Rowley, a San Ramon councilmember, took in the feeling of hope at the event.
“The ceremony was very moving and very inspirational,” said Rowley. “When we think back to what it was like ten years ago, there is a lot of hope.”
Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts gathered around the All Wars Memorial carrying flags and at the end of the ceremony, the Wreath of Honor was presented by Captain Jim Martin of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District, Sgt. Allan Shields of the Danville Police, and Pearl Harbor survivors.
The patriotism of the event was felt by many.
Roxanne Lagevin lost her son, Corporal Sean Langevin to the war in Afghanistan in 2007, and said she was touched by the event.
“I think just the spirit of being an American made the ceremony so meaningful,” said Langevin. “It was amazing to see how the community provides.”
Throughout the ceremony, people of all ages sang and stood in honor of those who lost their lives on September 11.
Danville Mayor Karen Stepper, and many other speakers at the ceremony encouraged the audience to never forget the sacrifices made 10 years ago.
“We’re absolutely overwhelmed by the depth of emotion in the San Ramon Valley,” Stepper said. “It shows that the memories of 9/11 are being kept alive and that they will never be forgotten.”