O’Fallon,MO (KTRS) Monday marked the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our nation.
The City of O’Fallon held its annual Patriot Day ceremony to commemorate the events of 9/11. Dozens of residents, first responders, members of the military, and community leaders gathered outside of O’Fallon City Hall for the solemn occasion.
O’Fallon Mayor Bill Hennessy delivered opening remarks following the invocation.
“That day and those that followed, we Americans rallied. We flew the flag everywhere. In O’Fallon and in other cities, our hearts went out to the victims and their families. We donated blood and collected funds. I feel proud to know that hundreds of first responders were willing to put themselves in harm’s way to rescue others.” Hennessy shared during the ceremony.
The event was held next to O’Fallon’s 9/11 memorial, which was constructed with steel from the World Trade Center site. A wreath was laid on the memorial by first responders from the O’Fallon Fire Protection District, the St. Charles County Ambulance District, the O’Fallon Police Department, and the U.S. Navy.
Fire Chief Tom Vineyard of the O’Fallon Fire Protection District recalled where he was on that tragic day back in 2001, “I was actually on duty. I was a fire captain with the Mid County Fire District in St. Louis County and we just got done eating breakfast. We were watching TV and we saw the whole thing unfold. It was almost surreal to see what was going on.”
O’Fallon Police Chief Roy Joachimstaler said 9/11 is a day we should never forget, “Nine-eleven has turned into an iconic event that we in America are always going to remember, especially for those of us who were living through it. I kind of equal it to a Pearl Harbor. It’s something we should never forget not because of anything dealing with war. This was the first time on our soil that people attacked us in an unconventional way.”
“The families of the victims live through this everyday and that’s who we should always remember and keep in our prayers and thoughts.” Joachimstaler added.
The ceremony was highlighted with the sounding of sirens followed by a moment of silence, a rifle salute and the playing of Taps by the St. Dominic High School band.