Tag: 9/11

Memories and Mourning Fill Iowans on 21-Mile March for 9/11 Victims

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Sixteen years have passed. Some Iowans remember to mark the occasion, while ohers may have let it slip their minds. Bob Lyons refuses to forget. He can't.

"I walked around," Lyons remembered from the days that followed the terror attack in New York City on September 11th, 2001. "The smell of the air. You were numb. You couldn't cry any longer."

Lyons had been working in the area as an engineer. Several years later, while living in St. Louis, he took part in a march to remember the victims of that attack. Last year, after moving to Clive, he decided to start the metro's own March to the Capitol, a walk from Waukee to the State Capitol in Des Moines.

The journey traveled 21 miles, his group's version of the honorary 21-gun salute in the military.

Lyons hopes people driving by the marchers will take the time to remember the sacrifices of 9/11 and also recall the feelings they had for their neighbors in the days that followed that horrific period. "Hopefully this can bring some of that unity back," Lyons said. "We're all Americans."

Tonya Johnson, of West Des Moines, also took part in the march. She watched the coverage of the 9/11 attacks on television while she was a college student and later visited the site in New York. She took part in this year's march to honor the victims, along with a good friend who is a firefighter in West Des Moines.

"I told friends that I was doing this walk and they were like, 'Oh, it is bad that I forgot?' I'm like, 'yeah!'" Johnson said.

Robert Rasmussen, of Des Moines, also marched with the several dozen others. He has a deep connection to the attacks: two of his relatives who were first responders died. His uncle, a firefighter, died in one of the World Trade Center towers. His cousin, a police officer, died in the other tower. Rasmussen marched while wearing the hat of his cousin after it was recovered in New York City.

"It's emotional," Rasmussen said. "I'm dealing with it in my own little way. After the walk, then it will hit me."

Ankeny Fire Department Holds Tribute to 9/11 Victims

ANKENY, Iowa  --  A tribute to victims of the 9/11 attacks was held in Ankeny on Monday.

The Ankeny Fire Department, along with police and paramedics, held its annual 9/11 remembrance. The tolling of the bell is an old tradition; a bell rang when a firefighter lost his or her life. Sixteen years ago, 400 police officers and firefighters paid the ultimate sacrifice.

"Thank God for our police officers, firefighters, and paramedics. When you meet them, take a minute and thank them for what they do. They really do appreciate your words of thanks, even if what you hear back is, 'I'm just doing my job,'" said James Clack of the Ankeny Fire Department.

Monday's ceremony was outside the city's fire headquarters on Ash Drive.

Thousands of Flags Line Gray’s Lake to Remember Victims of 9/11 Attack

DES MOINES, Iowa — Volunteers put 2,977 flags into the ground at Gray’s Lake to remember each life lost on September 11, 2001.

United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Justine Peichoto said she was only 11-years-old when the terrorist attack happened, but it is something she will never forget.

“Because of how big of a deal it was at the time, it was life changing. I mean even for me being 11-years-old, I remember that and I just think of ‘God Bless the USA,’ the song. It kind of keeps us grounded to remember events like that and things that happened. It’s things like this and days like September 11 that help us remember why we should be thankful for what we have,” Peichoto said.

Peichoto said a large visual representation like this reminds others it’s important to remember what happened.

The flags will stay up until Tuesday morning and are located between the lake and Fleur Dr. for anyone to stop by and reflect.

These flags are not the only visual remembrance of that day, the Ankeny Fire Department held a ceremony Monday at 8:30 a.m. at fire station #1. The timing of the ceremony was in sync with the events that happened on that day in 2001.

Deputy Chief Frank Powant said the Ankeny Fire Department had a special tie to some of the first responders that lost their lives in the attack.

“The Ankeny Fire Department had a personal connection with some New York firefighters that rode for years on RAGBRAI in the late 1990’s and early 2000. In fact one of those firefighters did perish at 9/11 who was on that ride,” Powant said.

A March to the Capitol started at 9:11 a.m. at Centennial Park in Waukee and will end at the Capitol building.

Governor Kim Reynolds ordered flags to fly at half-staff at public buildings on Monday from sunrise to sunset.

‘March to the Capitol’ Will Honor 9/11 Victims

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  On Monday, state leaders will take part in the 9/11 March to the Capitol.

Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg will speak at the ceremony, which begins at 9 a.m. in Waukee's Centennial Park.

Attendees will then march 21 miles to the state capitol building to pay their respects to the victims of the 2001 attacks.

Flags to Fly at Half-Staff on Patriot Day

IOWA  --  Governor Kim Reynolds has ordered all flags in Iowa to be at half-staff on Monday in honor of Patriot Day.

Flags will be at half-staff on the state capitol building as well as on flag displays in the capitol complex. Public buildings, grounds, and facilities will also be required to fly their flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday.

Iowa observes September 11th as Patriot Day in honor of those killed in the 9/11 attacks 16 years ago.

9/11 Victims Remembered at Gray’s Lake

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  A somber reminder of the terror attack on 9/11 is now up at Gray's Lake in Des Moines.

Air Force staffers placed 2,977 flags at the park for each life lost on September 11th, 2001. The flags will be up through Tuesday morning.

The Tribute Trail can be found on the west side of the lake.

Governor Reynolds has also ordered flags to fly at half-staff from sunrise to sunset at public buildings on Monday in remembrance of 9/11. All Iowans are encouraged to do the same.

9/11 Tribute Trail to Return to Gray’s Lake Park Next Week

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  The lives lost in the terrorist attacks on September 11th will again be honored at Gray’s Lake Park this year on the 16th anniversary of the hijackings.

Beginning Friday morning 2,977 individual flags, one for each innocent life lost in the attacks, will be placed in the lawn on the North side of Gray’s Lake Park.  The flags will remain in place through the weekend and all day on Monday, September 11th.  They will be removed on Tuesday evening.

The city hosts the memorial every year to put the loss from the terrorist attacks in perspective and to offer residents a place to quietly reflect on the somber day.