Small Mariposa County community pays big tribute to victims of 9/11

COULTERVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) -- September 11 holds an important place in many of our hearts - especially in the tiny mountain community of Coulterville where few events draw more people than Monday night's annual memorial for the fallen.

Nestled in remote mountains, thousands of miles away from the hustle and bustle of New York City, Coulterville hasn't forgotten.

"We just felt they should be honored because we lost so many of them," organizer Candy Rickard said.

Every year, without fail, on the 11th of September, the town comes together - decorating their only park with patriotic colors and fervor.

They're remembering the call 16 years ago that changed everything. Many of these families have no ties to the 2,996 victims that died that day.

"I could not believe it," resident Kenneth Cotner said. "I thought it was someone playing a joke, and then when I turned the TV on. It brought tears to my eyes, still does sometimes."

Cotner, a former firefighter, can't forget.

"It's not just a person, it's a firefighter a police officer, that is part of my family because that was the way I was brought up," he said.

Ordinary people changed their duty that day in the face of danger. Through these memorials, the next generation will also learn about their bravery and loyalty.

"Just remember 9/11, remember who lost their lives," Rickard said. "There were so many that lost their lives and the ones that are suffering even now through it.

Every September 11th, Coulterville will be here to refresh the nation's memory.
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.