This year a special change was made. The names of county members who were killed in the attacks, and those from the county who had served during the War on Terror and lost their lives, were accompanied by biographies, eulogizing the fallen.
Before the ringing of the bell, a small window into the lives of each individual was shared to attendees.
Orange County Director of Veterans Affairs Christian Farrell said it made this year’s ceremony more meaningful.
“I think it personalized it like it hasn’t been done before and even for myself to hear the normal, ordinary people they were and the families they left behind really hits home,” said Farrell.
County Executive Steve Neuhaus said the initiative to find the stories of each individual was taken on by the county’s Park’s and Recreation Department, specifically Tamara Moson and County spokesman Justin Rodriguez.
“The parks department put it together with us and you could see we had a tough time reading it,” said Neuhaus. “We didn’t know these stories until today, which the reason we read them today,” he said.
A 56 total Orange County residents lost their lives in the attacks, or in the war on terror.