NEWPORT BEACH, CA – About 20 tall ships will participate in the Southern California Regional Observance of the First Anniversary of the September 11th Terrorist Attacks on America on Wednesday, September 11, 2002 in the waters off Newport Harbor and at Big Corona State Park. The ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. PST with three wreaths to be laid on the water at 8:46 a.m. PST, timed to correspond with when the first jetliner smashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.
“We will honor those lost in the tragic events of 9-11 and praise those who have sacrificed so much,” said Ralph Rodheim, chairman of the Patriot Day Tribute Committee. “We will salute those who have fallen and those who did everything possible in numerous heroic rescue attempts.”
The tall ships and all sailboats who participate will arrive at the site with their sails down as a symbol of respect to honor all those who lost their lives on September 11th .
Among the dignitaries will be Orange County Supervisor Jim Silva, Newport Beach Mayor Tod Ridgeway and Newport Beach Mayor Pro-Tem Steve Bromberg who will welcome those assembled. The invocation will be said by Orange County Sheriff’s Department Chaplain Kathleen Rutland at 8:30 a.m., followed by the posting of colors by the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Color Guard. Introductory comments by Supervisor Silva and Mayor Ridgeway will be followed by Newport Beach Fire Department bagpipers playing “Amazing Grace.”
At 8:46 a.m., three wreaths will be laid in the water off the side of the schooner, 1812 Privateer LYNX. Representing the three sites where lives were lost, the wreaths will be placed by the families of September 11th victims, the Newport Beach Fire Department in honor of their fallen brethren and the Daughters of the American Revolution to honor those who have lost their lives abroad defending American freedom. As the wreaths are being placed, the Orange County Harbor Department’s fireboats will salute them with a dual water spray.
The wreath-laying will be followed by the playing of “Taps” by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Bugle Corps. A benediction by Orange County Sheriff’s Department Senior Chaplain Sandy Otsuji will conclude the ceremony at approximately 9:08 a.m. PST, the time when the second jetliner went into the South Tower. Both Sheriff’s Department chaplains volunteered at Ground Zero in the days following the attacks.
At the end of the benediction, in a demonstration of strength and resolve, all sails on all boats will be hoisted and unfurled, symbolizing the triumph of the American spirit.
Among those organizations also involved with the event are the Newport Beach Police Department, the American Legion, the Boy Scouts Sea Base, Woods Maritime and the Newport Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau.
Because San Diego and Long Beach are military ports and Los Angeles will be on high alert, Newport Beach will be the only site for such an event in Southern California. The tall ships are participating in the American Sail Training Association’s 2002 Tall Ships Challenger Series down the West Coast; they will have left Los Angeles the prior evening. After the Patriot Day Tribute, the tall ships will continue to the Festival of Sail in San Diego to be held the next day.
One of the tall ships, EUROPA, is carrying a 30-foot black banner with thousands of signatures from Richmond, British Columbia where the Challenger Series started. Residents, crew members of other vessels and volunteers at the Canadian event signed in support of the United States in memory of the September 11th attacks. The banner will fly over the Tribute off Newport Beach and then be sent across the country to be a part of Sail For America, the gathering of thousands of vessels paying tribute to the World Trade Center on Saturday, September 14 in New York harbor.