EAST PENNSBORO TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) – Dozens across Central Pennsylvania gathered outside the Penn Harris Hotel to pay tribute to the thousands who perished on Sept. 11, 2001.
The group of veterans, first responders and civilians walked side-by-side, with American flags in hand, around the hotel and convention center, singing songs and praying for the lives lost 21 years ago.
For many in attendance, the ceremony was personal.
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“It just really touches my heart,” Kelsey Weston, who is part of the Pennsylvania Ladies Auxiliary Club, said.
“I’m glad I can do this for my family that is serving or has served.”
Sept. 11, 2001 is a day Weston remembers well, despite that she was only in fifth grade when the terrorist attacks occurred. She said the images on her television screen launched her passion for helping first responders and veterans.
“It was just a shock,” Weston said. “I think it’s great that we can honor them as much as we can because they have fought for our country, they are what make our country the nation it is, and I think it’s best that we continue to support them whether it’s 21 years later or 50 years later.”
Veteran Bernie McDonald also attended the ceremony. He said his biggest goal is to ensure that the youngest generation never forgets what happened that September morning.
“Almost 3,000 people lost their lives that day. We may not have been there personally, but the whole country struggled,” McDonald said. “I think of us all as survivors of that day.”
McDonald went on to acknowledge the family and friends of those who died in the attacks.
“We have to be there to help those people survive,” he said. “It’s something that’s ingrained in our memories and we have to remember. That’s why we do this walk every year.”