Thousands gather for 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony in Tempe Beach Park
TEMPE (3TV/CBS 5) - Thousands of people came together throughout Tempe on Sunday to pay their respects and honor the lives lost on September 11, 2001.
Ro Gonzalez is a Marine Veteran and Founder of Valors Veterans Community AZ. He organized a walk beginning at 6 a.m. this morning where veterans, their families, and community members walked a mile every hour until the sun went down with American flags in their hands.
He said today is about doing something outside of yourself, “if you were on the 50th or 70th floor in one of the twin towers and the building was on fire and you think it’s hot out here right now think about the victim’s and what they had to go through,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez says many kids nowadays weren’t born at the time of the attack and the walk was an opportunity for them to learn more about what happened and what it means. “The healing fields is along the way. The whole point is for the veteran’s if they have kids, to give their children the opportunity to learn about the healing fields or about 9/11 and what it means,” says Gonzalez.
As the sun went down, others gathered at Tempe Beach Park, where 3,000 American Flags stood with a name of a person killed on that day written on a paper tied to the flag.
Veteran Paul Harvey had friends and family at the Pentagon when it was attacked. He remembers being frightened. “I felt a sense of urgency like something needed to be done,” Harvey said. “I think I knew after the first plane hit that this wasn’t an accident, and after the second plane hit, it was obvious we were under attack as a nation.”
Harvey said although his loved ones survived the attack, he knows the pain of losing a loved one all too well. “I’ve lost brothers in arms, so I always like to pay my respects.” Harvey says he hopes events like these will ensure nobody ever forgets all the people we lost.
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