Portlanders a decade and an opposite coast away from the events of September 11 can no longer feel that removed from the threat of terrorism.
The Pioneer Courthouse Square plot showed many people that no city could be considered off-limits as a target.
"Brings it home, makes you feel like it's not just a major city thing, it's a threat to us too," Johnny Wesolowski said.
Former New Yorker Scott Ford survived 9-11 trapped in a subway tunnel.
He now lives in Portland and was at the tree-lighing ceremony Friday.
"On an emotional level it was pretty big," Ford said. "It was a flashback from 9-11. Certainly a grim reminder that events of this magnitude can happen to any city on the West Coast."