Parties and prayers. Songs and seminars. Memorial services and the mournful tolling of church bells at 5:04 p.m.
In dozens of ways - joyful, reflective, somber - millions of Northern Californians Wednesday are sharing memories and emotions unleashed a year ago by the terrifying quake.They are gathering at the park where people lived when their homes crumbled near the epicenter in Watsonville. At the landmarks wrecked and rebuilt in Santa Cruz. At the highway now gone in Oakland where so many died. At the Ferry Building in San Francisco, its tilted flagpole only recently replaced.
Actor Danny Glover is host of the ceremony at the Ferry Building, where the flag will be raised for the first time in a year.
Many are ignoring the hoopla, seeking instead to keep the quake safely in the past.
"The memory is still vivid in everyone's minds and they do different things with that memory," said Jack Atkin, executive director of the Citizens Emergency Relief Team in Oakland, which is organizing a memorial at the site of Interstate 880's collapse.
At the I-880 site where 42 people died, a gospel choir will sing and survivors will place 2,000 white carnations.
About the only places that won't have ceremonies may be the three most associated with the quake - Candlestick Park, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the Marina District in San Francisco.