On September 11, 2001 Disneyland was empty. There were no guests flying through space in Tomorrowland, no adventures through the jungles of Adventureland, no laughing place in Critter Country. With all the unknowns of the day, it was decided that it would not be safe to open the gates to “the happiest place on earth.”
Ten years later, the only sign that something was different on September 11, 2011 from any other day was that flag in Town Square and on Main Street Strain Station hanging at half mast. There also was a sign in Town Square announcing that the 1st Marine Division Band from Camp Pendleton would be a part of the patriotic flag retreat at 4:45.
Things changed shortly after 4:00 PM. While there had been a hand full of people camping out in Town Square since the early afternoon, moments after Mickey’s Soundsational Parade ended people began to fill into Town Square. By the time 4:45 arrived people were packed into Town Square and also up on Main Street Station’s viewing area.
At 4:45 with military precision, the 1st Marine Division Band marched down Main Street, USA. They stopped in the street in front of Main Street Station and the patriotic flag ceremony began. The band was joined by the Dapper Dans of Main Street and the color guard from Disneyland Security. The ceremony included a tribute to all veterans where they were invited to congregate around the flag pole, the lowering of the flag, and the singing of God Bless America. Included was a brief statement remembering the events that happened 10 years ago.
The patriotic flag retreat is always a beautiful moment in any day at Disneyland. On September 11, it is even more so as those who lost their lives on that horrific day are remembered.
Video by: @mrdaps
Photos by: @iampumpkinqueen