LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) — As the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks nears, a patriotic ceremony took place at the Columbiana County Fairgrounds on Sunday, where veterans and first responders were honored.

Around 150 veterans and first responders gathered at the fairgrounds while the flag was lowered to half staff to prepare for National Day of Service and Remembrance.

“You cant thank them enough — 9/11 is a day that nobody is going to forget soon,” said John Wilson, with American Legion Post 131 in Leetonia. “But it’s more than just the people in 9/11 — it’s what changed that day. The world changed, the world thinks differently now.”

After the ceremony, the fair board presented handmade patriotic quilts to nominated veterans and first responders.

“We’ve been doing it since 2010,” said Sharen Cope, fair board director. “My exhibitors in the special category make the quilts and donate them, so we are fortunate this year we have over 20 recipients.”

“You should see the veterans’ eyes when they get these quilts. These ladies do a very nice job on this, they work on this all year long, making these quilts,” Wilson said.

The annual program originally recognized just veterans, but Cope says the lapse was one they wanted to fix.

“We quickly realized that first responders give their time, so in 2011 — on the anniversary of the 9/11 attack — we added first responders,” Cope said.

East Palestine fire Chief Keith Drabick received a special quilt for all his work following the Feb. 3 train derailment.

The fair board would like to recognize the Washingtonville VFW and American Legion Post in Leetonia for their generous help and donations to make the event possible.