Today marks the 111th anniversary of Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906 that destroyed much of the modern city that was coming into being at that time and leaving its residential neighborhood to be rebuilt in the Edwardian style that now characterizes the city. And this year marks only the second time this ceremony is being held without a single survivor of the quake alive. Just a few years ago, several centenarians who were still small children at the time of the quake would be in attendance for the annual ceremony at Lotta's Fountain and the breakfast that follows at John's Grill there used to be a dinner to honor the survivors the day before as well. But in January 2016, the last remaining of the survivors, 109-year-old Bill Del Monte, passed away at a nursing home in Marin County just shy of his 110th birthday. He was just four months old when the quake struck at 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906, killing around 3,000 people.
The last time any of the survivors who included Ruth Newman, Winnie Hook, and George Quilici attended the festivities was in 2012.
ABC 7 has footage from the early morning ceremony, held at the fountain at the foot of Kearny Street that became a popular meeting place for survivors in the aftermath of the quake.
As KRON 4 reports, this morning's speakers included Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, and former Mayor Willie Brown.
The San Francisco Historical Society is trying to raise $22,000 to install a plaque on a nearby wall to commemorate the quake and fire that they hope to install next year.
And let this be just one more reminder, if you have not already, to get your earthquake kit together.