PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Sixteen years ago today, our world changed forever when terrorists hijacked four passenger planes on September 11, 2001. Two crashed into New York’s World Trade Center towers, a third slammed into the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and the last crashed into an empty field in Pennsylvania.
Memorials were held across the country, including here in the Portland metro area. From Vancouver to Oregon City, people paid tribute to the men and women who died then and in the battles since.
“The gravity of this experience touched every aspect of life as we knew it,” Mayor Timothy Leavitt told KOIN 6 News at a Patriot Day ceremony held at Vancouver City Hall.
In Portland, the 343 fire fighters who lost their lives that day were honored and in Sherwood, people gave back to their community with a blood drive.
“It’s a way for us to serve and I think that’s the one thing that can bring us together more than anything,” organizer Wally Johnston said.
Oregon City also held a Patriot Day remembrance ceremony for the first time. Attendees there honored the fallen and their sacrifices.
“All these people volunteered to be part of this wonderful program and there wasn’t anybody who said no,” organizer Cheryl Croft Bennett said.
Bennet’s son was Tyrone Snowden Woods, an Oregon City High School Graduate who died in the Benghazi attack 5 years ago.
“It does not get easier, the tears still come even though I try not to,” Bennett said.
The event Monday was exactly what she had in mind and she wants America’s service men and women to know this: “They have america’s extreme gratitude and respect and they always will.”