SAN FRANCISCO — Something was missing from San Francisco's ritualized remembrance of the 1906 earthquake and fire that destroyed much of the city: for the first time, no survivors of the world-famous Great Quake were on hand for the event.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that one of the three remaining centenarians known to have been survived the earthquake as babies was scheduled to attend the early morning remembrance Thursday. But at age 107, San Jose resident Winnie Hook wasn't up to it.
Another survivor, 107-year-old Bill Del Monte, of Greenbrae, rode in a parade the day before, but also skipped Thursday's ceremony.
For decades, San Franciscans past and present have dressed in early 20th Century garb and met every April 18 at a downtown fountain for a moment of silence at 5:12 a.m., the time when the temblor shook the city.