Solace and celebration as Sonoma salutes 9/11

In a still, gray morning on Sonoma Plaza, a team of 18 volunteers read the names of the 2,977 victims of 9/11. It took nearly three hours. During the prayer-like recital, the reverential aura of the outdoor amphitheater was surrounded by scenes of everyday life: a couple eating pastry, a jogger, a stroller-pushing mom, a dad preparing a picnic table birthday party. The dichotomy was heartbreaking, vital, wonderful. As the ensuing speeches and choral music paid tribute to the fallen, the mood, like the weather, began to brighten. Out came the barbecue, up tempo went the music. Smiles replaced tears. Homage had been paid, here and forever. And now, life, in this precious moment, would go on.

Photos by Scott Knight

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