South Bay park hosts emotional memorial to those lost on 9/11

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) -- About 100 people gathered Friday evening at San Jose's Oak Hill Memorial Park to mark the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

A bagpipe procession set the tone to start the somber ceremony. Wreaths were placed for each crash site, each flight, and emergency responders who sacrificed their lives on September 11, 2001.

"I think about when it is I feel that I'm most American, and it it perhaps in the darkest of times," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told the crowd. "There is no darker time for many of us, certainly not in my lifetime, than 9/11."

The sunset service at Oak Hill Memorial Park took place at the site of a Flight 93 memorial. San Jose native Jason Dahl was a pilot on Flight 93.

His brother-in-law Don Hartshorn called Dahl an "old soul."

"This was the guy you wanted flying your plane," Hartshorn said. "He just had this meticulous attention to detail that you really wanted in a pilot."

14 years later, the loss is still felt as if it happened yesterday.

"The toughest part of knowing somebody like Jason and losing somebody like Jason is you have a lot of survivor's guilt," Hartshorn said getting choked up. "He was such an amazing guy that what I try and do now is to try and live my life a little better, sort of in his memory."

Marsha Anderson said she noticed fewer people coming to memorial services, and wondered if people were starting to forget.

"I'm not," Anderson said. "Maybe because I'm an old person but maybe because New York meant so much."

Anderson lived in New York City when the Twin Towers were bombed.

"And so who would ever think so many years later it would actually be accomplished? And such a disaster," she said as she gazed at names on a memorial wall.

The service was one of many repeated across the country on the 14th anniversary with the mantra "never forget." 

"Let us all remember that each and every day life is such a precious gift," Harshorn told the crowd. "Never forget."

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