A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night at the La Quinta Civic Center Park to honor the victims who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001.
“This memorial is a reminder to all of us — of the American Spirit…the La Quinta spirit…that defines our ability to rebuild stronger and to unite with purpose,” said La Quinta Mayor Linda Evans.
More than a hundred gathered on the lawn at the park, lighting candles and reflecting on the tragic events that unfolded eighteen years ago to the day. The event featured several speeches and musical performances.
“It is important to remember 9/11 because if we forget about it, then we forget about the people whose lives were lost,” said Andrew Nelson, a boy scout from troop 1701 who held the American flag during the ceremony.
A focal point of the vigil was a monument in the park made with remnants from the World Trade Center itself — unveiled back in 2013. It was installed as part of an eagle scout project and has been a part of the vigil every year since.
“[9/11] is sort of like a defining moment of a generation. It’s something that should be remembered and should always be remembered it should never be forgotten at all,” said Manuel Belandres, another boy scout in attendance.
Many shared where they were and how 9/11 impacted their life. “It was pretty dramatic to me…I was about my daughter’s age. It didn’t hit me at the time of course. I was too young but as I got older it really stuck with me and really had a big impact on my life,” said David Desmarais.
Desmarais, like many parents, brought his two young daughters to show them why our country will never forget: “I had to come down to show my family…my next generation…our country’s next generation that it’s important to not forget this.”
Vigil speakers encouraged everyone to remember that freedom is not free and to live life fully. “I think about those that I love dearly my friends my family…saying I love you…hugging my friends…because you never know the last time or the next time you’ll be able to do so,” said Mayor pro tem Steve Sanchez, City of La Quinta.