SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - 9-11 memorial ceremonies are happening up and down our coast today.
In Santa Barbara, county firefighters hosted a special 9-11 ceremony this morning at their headquarters.
There was a moment of silence, then the flag was lowered to half staff. Community members came out for the ceremony and Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Mark Hartwig also spoke at the event.
Students at Bishop Diego High School got up early this morning to place nearly 3-thousand flags to honor those killed on 9-11.
Students, parents and teachers gathered in the quad to pray and pay their respects. Many of those students weren't even alive when it happened, but they say it's important to remember.
Bishop Diego High School student, Parker Maho said,
"I wasn't alive for this but i know the effects its made on many people, so it means a lot to me"
and Bishop Diego High School teacher, Grace Thorstad said, "we want to make sure they know freedom isn't free.....freedom"
The flags remained up throughout the day.
A memorial event also took place this morning at Oxnard college. The president of the college spoke briefly to an audience of students and staff.
The Santa Maria Fire Department remembered the victims of 9/11 with ceremonies at each city fire station.
A ceremonial series of blasts came from the fire engine at the Santa Maria fire station number 5 as part of commemoration ceremonies at all five city fire stations.
The station flag was lowered to half staff followed by a moment of silence. The ceremony is modeled after recommended protocols established by the international fire service and adopted by the fire chiefs of Santa Barbara County.
Santa Mara Fire Department Captain, Seth Wells spoke at the event;
"For us its a tough day I think for all firefighters because its a reminder of just what can happen to us on the job at any moment and we do this to remember those fellow brothers and sisters that we lost in that tragedy."
The Santa Maria Fire department says the annual public 9/11 ceremony is to allow for reflection. Firefighters also want to honor those lost 18-years-ago and their families.
In Pismo Beach, people came together out on the water to commemorate 9/11 in an annual event held by local non-profit Ampsurf.
Under the bright blue sky, surfers made their way through the waves during the paddle out Ampsurf holds each year. The group took time to remember the victims that died 18-years-ago, and also to honor the service members and first responders. Surfers joined together, forming a ring and holding hands.
With a memorial ring in the middle, words of remembrance were said by each person, followed by a prayer. This is the 15th year Ampsurf, which teaches people with disabilities how to surf, has held the 9/11 paddle out.