Honoring the victims of 9/11, promising to never forget

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - People from all over the country gathered together to honor those lost during 9/11. Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Fairbanks was filled with residents sharing their memories from that tragic day 17 years ago, for the second annual 9/11 memorial service held by the Fairbanks Veterans Center.

It's a day almost every American takes to remember the tragic events that took place in New York City and at the Pentagon so many years ago. Dave Dean with the Military Order of the Purple Heart, for the local Fairbanks chapter, Chapter 675, began the ceremony recounting the day’s events.

“Four planes set out to do their best to destroy our way of life and in many regards they've had success. Our lives will never be the same as they were prior to 9/11," he said to the crowd.

Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly gave his account, sharing what he was doing the moment he received the news, "I remember exactly what I was doing, do you? I mean it's as vivid to my generation as JFK was to that generation. I was working from home, I turned on the Today show, just like I always did and I grabbed my coffee and I was just glued,” he said.

Those who attended offered wreathes and two women offered a single yellow rose, keeping the country's promise to never forget.

This especially reigns true for Assistant Fire Chief with the Fairbanks Fire Department Ron Templeton. As an employee for the local fire department and formally enlisted in the military, this day means something else.

“We made a promise in 2001, we promised to never forget and part of never forgetting is holding ceremonies like this just to honor, honor the people who gave the ultimate sacrifice on that day,” he said.

A promise to never forget, ringing true for all who attended memorial services on Tuesday, like Templeton. From our military to our police and first responders, people nationwide, thank you for your dedication on that day and the risk you accept every day.