Over the weekend, commemorative ceremonies for the 9/11 attacks took place all across the United States as survivors, first responders, and families who lost loved ones gathered to remember and reflect. The pain of that day was still evident more than a decade after the events which changed a nation and its people. Some gathered in larger groups in a show of solidarity, while others took to quiet places in smaller circles. The acts of remembering over these days serve as examples of the impact still felt by a country forever changed.
- Jason Harding of Maryville, Tennessee, headed to his local Planet Fitness to spend some time on the treadmill before reporting to work on Sunday morning. While this may not seem out of the ordinary, Harding was dressed in full emergency responder gear and walked the equivalent of 110 flights of stairs in order to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11. Stair Climbs are organized annually in states all throughout the country.
- Pat McAfee, a punter for the Indianapolis Colts, may face a fine for violating the uniform policy of the NFL. During Sunday’s home game against the Detroit Lions, McAfee wore custom-painted shoes to honor the day. Before the game, he tweeted “I stand with every citizen of the greatest country on earth”.
- Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump took a break from campaigning and airing ads on September 11 in honor of the anniversary. Meanwhile, president Obama called for unity and urged listeners to not give into fear as he promised to keep working to keep America safe.
- In the small town of Ralston, Nebraska, on Sunday, an anonymous donor wrote a check for $10,000 and dropped it off at the local police department. Along with the donation was a note from the individual which read, “use this money anyway that you wish…thanks for all you do for our community.”
Events also took place in cities like Atlanta, Montville, New Jersey, Boise, and Dover as individuals came together to remember those effected by an unforgettable time in the nation’s history. Victims were honored as those directly impacted shared similar stories of grief and mourning of friends, spouses, family members, and co-workers. Emergency responders were celebrated for their heroism and bravery and while some cities unveiled new memorials as an honor to the fallen.
A Reminder to Practice Vigilance
Ahead of the anniversary, the State Department reminded citizens that vigilance was still necessary as threats to personal security remain. The department noted that terrorist groups “continue to plan attacks” with potentially “conventional or nonconventional weapons” in order to target both the government and private individuals.
September 11, 2016 marked fifteen years since the hijackings took place by al-Qaeda terrorists on United States soil. Over the course of several hours in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, suicide attacks killed 2,996 men, women, and children while over 6,000 individuals were injured. The casualties included more than 400 firefighters and police officers.