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Orange County recognizes Sept. 11 with Patriot Day ceremony

People placed roses and read the names of the 44 Orange County residents killed on Sept. 11.

Veronica Jean Seltzer

Sep 12, 2023, 2:26 AM

Updated 282 days ago


Orange County residents gathered on Monday to honor the memory of their neighbors killed on Sept. 11.
The county honored them with its annual Patriot Day ceremony. 
People placed roses and read the names of the 44 Orange County residents killed.
 Bill Bratton's 23-year-old daughter Michelle Renee was one of those 44. 
"She had a lot of promise," Bratton said. 
She was just starting her first job out of college. She was one of about 800 people killed from her firm atop Tower One.
"I thought it was a little biplane, some weird thing, but obviously, that was not the case," he said. 
Bratton's was one of the names read that honored the lives lost, the first responders and those killed in war since.
"When they read these names, it definitely hits home," County Executive Steve Neuhaus said. 
That's because he knew many of them or has gotten to know their families since. 
He visited ground zero Monday morning for the first time since 2001.
"A lot of people say, 'Oh, we're forgetting.' Not when you see what's going on in Orange County and at ground zero," Neuhaus said. 
That's why there's some hope even amidst the grief. There's hope for a return to the unity seen Sept. 12, 2001. 
"Everyone at the end of this day feels almost exhausted from the grief and the emotion, but it's so important we continue to do this and never forget," Rep. Pat Ryan said. 
Rep. Ryan says he's still working on legislation with Rep. Mike Lawler that would make 9/11 a national holiday. He says they're gaining momentum, but not as quickly as they'd like. Still, he says they won't give up.  

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