CALIFORNIA, Mo. -- This year marks the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks. To remember the day and victims, a tribute will be held at California City Hall.
The ceremony, organized by David Wyatt, will be the first in Moniteau County. Having worked for the California Rural Fire Protection occasionally since 2007, Wyatt decided the time was now for Moniteau County to recognize the day.
"I just don't want it to be forgotten," he said. "There are 18 and 19 year olds who don't know what happened, and I want the tribute to be thought of as a brief history recap of what happened."
The event will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11 outside City Hall, 500 S. Oak St. in California, complete with a free-will donation meal of hot dogs, chips and beverages.
"Any and all" donations will be given to Toys for Tots of Moniteau County, Wyatt said.
"I decided to address a need and use that to help someone else," Wyatt said of Toys for Tots. "I have seen an immediate need within our own community and wanted to use the tribute as a way to give back any way that we can."
Also giving back through the ceremony will be the California High School band and speakers from the community to offer their talents for the cause.
As for the speakers, Wyatt said: "There will be a couple of surprise guests there."
Wyatt plans to recognize the 348 fallen firefighters who lost their lives on that fateful day, with each of their names to be read during the tribute.
"I just want it all to come together and be a part of the history and discussion," he said. "I want everyone as a community to look at what has happened since then. Of course, politics are completely off the talking block. Politics do not and will not matter that day.
"This just needs to become an annual event that benefits Moniteau County."