By Jim Tortolano/Garden Grove Journal
In remembrance of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks 10 years ago, several observances were held in the Garden Grove-Stanton-Westminster area.
Perhaps the largest was Sunday afternoon at the Elks Lodge Park in Garden Grove where the local Elks hosted the Orange Coast District’s event.
It was dedicated to all those who lost their lives and loved ones on that day, but especially to the memory of Thomas F. Hughes, who died in the attack on Tower One of the World Trade Center.
He is the nephew of John West, who is affiliated with the Mission Viejo/Saddleback Valley Lodge 2444.
The event gathered several hundred people to the location at Trask Avenue and Newhope Street.
The grounds were decorated with many American flags, a balloon representation of the Twin Towers, and Old Glory suspended between the extended ladders of two Garden Grove fire units.
Opening remarks were made by Art Echternacht, first vice president of the California/Hawaii Elks Association and leader of the Orange Coast District.
“We come here not only to remember those who gave their lives to protects us on 9-11,” he said, “but also to thank those in the fire and police and military who protect us every day.”
His wife, Shirley, sang “God Bless America.” The guest speaker was Greg Merritt, USMC retired. Other ceremonies, including the playing of bagpipes, flag-folding and more.
In Westminster on Sunday, an observance was made during the “Dia de La Familia” event being held at Sigler Park.
In Stanton, a ceremony was held at the Stanton station of the Orange County Fire Authority.