San Quentin marked the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America with a ceremony honoring those killed in the terrorist attacks and correctional officers killed in the line of duty.
Inmates were locked down so correctional officers could attend the ceremony in the Plaza area between the chapels and Adjustment Center.
The San Quentin Honor Guard launched the ceremony by raising the American flag, then lowering the Stars and Stripes to half-staff at the Memorial Flagpole, accompanied by a trumpeter playing Amazing Grace.
Acting Warden Michael Martel gave a brief message honoring San Quentin’s 13 fallen staff. He said, “These members served proudly with honor and will never be forgotten.”
Prison staff member Heidi Brown said, “This event brings all staff together, not only to remember the victims and families of 9/11 – but to honor the 13 staff members who lost their lives in the line of duty, at San Quentin.”
Correctional Peace Officer’s Association President, Frank McNeal presented a memorial wreath, assisted by two other officers.
Muslim Chaplain Imam Quazi Kawsar Hossain gave a brief message and prayer citing Islamic customs. Hossain said, “There is a tradition in Islam where the prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said, ‘All of creation is the family of God.’ So those who are most beloved to God are those who are best to his family. Those who harm the creation, those that cause injury upon his creation, cannot be beloved to God.”
“I reflect on this incident, and look at the devastation and destruction that was the result of this. The people thought that it was right, but they didn’t take the time to ask themselves, ‘Is this right with Allah?’” Hossain concluded. After 30 seconds of silence, there was 30 seconds of sirens from the San Quentin fire engines.
The Wall Post 1 guard station rang the count bell 13 times in memory of the 13 fallen employees, then fired a 21-gun salute.
The services concluded with a rendition of Taps by two trumpeters.