Communities all around the Valley held memorial services in honor of 9/11 on Tuesday.
Seventeen years later, most people remember what they were doing at the exact moment word spread about the terror attack on that day in 2001 — whether you were on your way to work or sitting in a classroom.
Local first responders, community members and government officials came together in Austintown to remember.
“That’s the only way we can honor them, is by keeping their memory alive,” said Austintown Trustee Jim Davis.
Firefighters, police and our U.S. military were applauded at the 9/11 Memorial Park in Austintown for the work they did — not only on September 11, but always.
“Men and women who, every day in our community put their lives on the line, were running toward the chaos, were running toward the devastation to save lives,” said State Rep. John Boccieri.
Boccieri was just one of many who shared what they were doing the moment they heard a plane hit the first tower.
“I was on my way to Columbus, I was on my way down, and a friend called and she said, ‘John, can you believe this?'”
A bell rang for firefighters at the service, the Austintown Fitch Concert Choir sang and a wreath was laid by both the fire and police departments to pay respects to those who lost their lives.
“Our nation grieves with those 3,000 people who lost their lives and all their families,” said Mahoning County Commissioner Anthony Traficanti. “The only way we can honor their memory is to come to a hallowed place such as this memorial here in Austintown.”
Those in attendance thanked our first responders, while others stood quietly — touching the steel beams that held up the World Trade Center just 17 years ago.
“Let their lives be a motivation for us to recognize that despite our shortcomings as a country and as a nation, we are a nation of patriots who will step forward and sacrifice when asked,” Boccieri said.