Known as the "Waves of Flags," including 90 international banners, the installation at the campus' Alumni Park honors each of the 2,977 victims of the tragedy on Sept. 11, 2001.
Among the victims honored annually in Malibu is Thomas E. Burnett Jr., a Pepperdine graduate who died on United Flight 93.
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Wednesday's memorial service acknowledged grieving family members while recognizing the efforts of those who helped prevent further loss of life.
"In commemorating 9/11, we seek to mourn the innocent lives lost, but also to be inspired by the heroism and selflessness that our fellow Americans demonstrated on that day," said Jim Gash, the university's president. "We hope that, even as they mourn and reflect on the lives lost, visitors to Waves of Flags will be inspired by the bravery and self-sacrifice of those heroes."
PHOTO GALLERY: 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City
The Waves of Flags, a striking display that is visible from the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Canyon Road, is expected to remain in place for two weeks after the anniversary.