Idahoans pay tribute to victims, fallen soldiers on anniversary of 9/11 attacks

Idahoans came together across the state Sunday to pay tribute to those killed in the September 11 terror attacks, as well as the miliary members who died fighting in the war on terror.

BOISE - Ceremonies marking the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks took place in Idaho and around the nation on Sunday.

Here is a look at how Idahoans honored those who died in the worst terror attack in U.S. history, as well as those who made the made the ultimate sacrifice in the years since.

FLAG WALK

In Meridian, hundreds made their way to Kleiner Park to participate in a flag walk. Volunteers with the Mission43 veterans initiative walked two flags around the park all day from 7:30 a.m. until sunset to show community support for those killed in the September 11 terror attacks. The "Flag of Honor" represents the civilians who died on 9/11 and the "Flag of Heroes" represents all of the first responders killed. 

"There are generations now that are growing up that can never remember 9/11," said volunteer Tony Torres. "So we want them to get involved and that's one way to help them remember - just keep the flags going."

Emergency personnel from Meridian Police and Fire Departments, Boise Police Department, and several other agencies also attended the event to honor the lives lost. 

REMEMBERING FALLEN SOLDIERS

In Boise, people stopped by the Idaho Fallen Soldier Memorial at the old Ada County Courthouse to pay their respects on Sunday.

There are 67 flags at the memorial, which was built in 2010 by a group of volunteers. Each flag represents one of Idaho's fallen military men and women who have died in the war on terror since September 11, 2001.

The former commander of the Idaho National Guard, retired Gen. Alan Gayhart, told KTVB that he was on his way to work at Gowen Field when he heard about the attacks. And 15 years later, he says it feels like it was just yesterday.

"We didn't really know what was going on at that point," Gayhart remembered. "We immediately took steps to secure our armories and Gowen Field. Late on that day, I received orders from Washington to close the airports, and in fact we were putting armed guardsman in airports.'

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In 2004, about 3,000 Idaho Army National Guardsmen and another 2,000 soldiers from 12 states became the largest deployment in Idaho's history when they were sent to northern Iraq for 18 months as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"I'm really proud of what our soldiers did," Gayhart said. "We couldn't have better heroes knowing that each and every one of these soldiers had volunteered."

Gayhart added that he encourages everyone to visit the Idaho Fallen Soldiers Memorial, not just on the anniversary of 9/11, but year-round.

"We should never forget and always remember the sacrifice of these great heroes," he said.

There was no official ceremony at the memorial this year because Idaho had no casualties in the war on terror this year.

FLIGHT 93 HERO HONORED

Also in Boise on Sunday, David Beamer, the father of 9/11 hero Todd Beamer, spoke at Ten Mile Christian Church. Todd was a passenger on United Airlines flight 93, which crashed in a rural field in Pennsylvania. The passengers, including Todd forced the plane down, as a last ditch effort to prevent it from reaching it's intended target.

"It's a blessing that that counter-attack was successful because the plane didn't get to the capitol," David Beamer told KTVB on Friday.

During the flight, Todd provided invaluable information about the hijackers to authorities by phone, and was heard crafting a plan with other passengers. It was then that Todd uttered the now famous words, "Let's roll."

PATRIOT DAY CEREMONY

In Nampa on Sunday, the Nampa Fire Department held its annual Patriot Day ceremony to remember those who lost their lives on 9/11. The 15 minute tribute features bagpipers playing Amazing Grace, and included the ringing of the last alarm - a tradition in fire departments when there is a death in the line of duty.

9/11 NEVER FORGET GOLF TOURNAMENT

And in Eagle, the 8th annual 9/11 Never Forget Golf Tournament took place at Eagle Hills Golf Course. This year's tournament honored the sacrifices made by firefighters, police officers, and EMS personnel who died while trying to save others on 9/11.

The event also recognized all public safety officers who have fallen in the line of duty while protecting and defending Idaho citizens.

 

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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