Local leaders speak at Veterans Outreach Center’s ceremony to remember 9/11 victims

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Sunday marks 21 years since the September 11th terrorist attacks. Friday, the Veterans Outreach Center hosted a remembrance ceremony for all servicemen, and women who were impacted by that day.

News10NBC was at the ceremony which was held at Gary Beikirch Memorial Park.

It was “Operation We Remember.” The VOC’s Executive Director says it serves to honor anyone who chose to enlist in the Armed Forces because of the terrorist attack.

“9/11 isn’t over,” said Laura Stradley, VOC’s Executive Director. She continued, “I mean we are still experiencing the aftermath of it, and we will for years to come.”

Dozens of Foreign War Veterans, Gold Star Families, and the supporters of Veteran Affairs gathered in Highland Park Friday morning for “Operation We Remember.” Stradley talked about the importance of the ceremony.

“We just think it’s so important that all Americans remember what happened that day, and what tragedies have ensued since for all the men, and women who served their country, and their communities,” said Stradley.

More than 3,000 people lost their lives during the terrorist attacks, but thousands more including first responders also died due to 9/11 related illnesses. Local service men, and women were also honored today.

“On the Memorial Wall that’s right behind me, we have a number of names of the men, and women who served in combat after that day. Their families are Gold Star Families, and this memorial is really for them, and there are dozens of names. Probably 50 names on that wall of people who were killed in combat from this region because of 9/11,” said Stradley.

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans shared his thoughts on the ceremony.

“9/11 was a dark time in our community, and it’s great that we remark, that we have remarks on what that meant to us as a community, and that we remember to stop every year as we lead up to 9/11, to pause and reflect on those that made the ultimate sacrifice, and that’s what today is all about,” said Evans.

There are several 9/11 memorial events this weekend in our area. Stay tuned to News10NBC on Saturday, and Sunday as we will be covering many of them.