It’s been 22 years since the horrific terrorist attacks against the United States in the heart of downtown New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.
It’s a stark reminder of the nearly 3,000 people who died that day. It’s also the day we ensure the memory of each one of those victims is never forgotten.
Keynote speaker Maureen Casey, a former deputy commissioner of the New York Police Department, started her speech around 6 p.m.
Casey reflected on seeing the second plane hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Then she lamented what it was like when the gravity and significance of the country being attacked dawned on her.
Casey explained the mayhem of Ground Zero, struggling to identify victims who were lost or injured and what it took to bring closure to and reunite countless families.
Before Casey took the stage, a local fourth grader sang the National Anthem, and the Bonita Springs Honor performed an opening ceremony.
At the end of the mournful events on Monday, anyone in attendance can place flags in the ground in front of a 9/11 artifact. Each one corresponds to a fallen firefighter.
Fire Chief Greg Dewitt says it’s about ensuring we never forget.
“It’s just reminding everybody to teach their young. From my generation, everybody had either Pearl Harbor, you knew where you were, or when JFK was killed, or D-Day, or whatever it may be. This is mine. This is our, this is my generation’s where you knew where you were, the day that will go down as always knowing where you were that day, that morning. Especially with being firefighters, it just hits us a little bit harder,” said Fire Chief Dewitt.
Hearing people tell their stories about what happened on that fateful day 22 years ago is heart-wrenching, but also precisely why people will never forget the atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001.