Arlington officials gathered to commemorate 9/11 and remember the events of that day from 18 years ago.
For many of the people who lived through that day it’s something that is still fresh in their memory, said Dave Kraski, Fire Chief of the Arlington Fire Department.
“There are things that happen in our lives and we’ll just never forget where we were,” he said.
Kraski said that he remembers watching the news with his daughter on that day.
“I think I just stood there and held her for a couple of hours,” he said.
Arlington Police Chief Jonathan Ventura said the city continues to remember the day in part to keep talking about Sept. 11 so that children will know the significance.
“We’re at a turning point in the process of remembrance. Most of our entire school population was not alive on 9/11,” he said.
“I think it’s important that the students continue to be educated and learn,” he said.
The Arlington Fire Department welcomes kids from Post Middle School each Sept. 11 to their downtown Fire Station 46.
That is where the department keeps their own piece of the day: one of the steel beams recovered from the World Trade Center debris that was sent to Arlington.
“We explain to them the memorial, have a slideshow we show them and give them a tour of the station,” said Kraski.
“It brings back a lot of memories of that day,” he said.
Kraski said they talk about how much things have changed because of 9/11.
“If you’re 25 years old you probably remember going through the airport without all the security,” he said.
The memorial helps provide a connection to the East Coast and a piece of history in the town.
“We have an officer from New York and he thinks it's pretty special we have this, too. It’s a connection to New York for many of us who have never been there, but for this officer who spent many years there it’s a connection for him as well,” said Ventura.
The events of 9/11 affected many, not just those who died, but also those who continue to suffer illness or did work to help the recovery, said Ventura.
Ventura’s brother was a military reservist who was unexpectedly pulled in to help.
“They said ‘we have to cross-train you in something, we’re just going to make you a mortician assistant. Don’t worry, we never use them, we just need you to run the gym,’” he said.
“Unfortunately, after 9/11 nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. Ventura said his brother helped with efforts at both the Pentagon and ground zero of the World Trade Center.
Officials hoped that by continuing to remember the event the legacy of the day would live on.
“By sharing the stories we remind the young people that it requires kindness and service to one another to continue growing in a community like Arlington,” said Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert.
“It’s through these stories we can put into practice what being a community is all about,” she said.