Sept. 11, 2001, is a day we always need to remember, as much as a part of us would like to forget.
To help ensure we do remember — and to teach the younger generation who wasn't there — organizers of Missouri Patriot Day for more than a year have planned several events to commemorate this year's 20th anniversary.
This evening, a 40-foot semi-trailer with the names of all the victims of 9/11 will leave from the Fire Fighters Memorial in Kingdom City at about 6:30 p.m. Organizers hope people will line the truck's route down westbound U.S. 54 with American flags and banners. It should arrive in Jefferson City around 7 p.m., coming up Main Street and ending at the Capitol.
World Memorial, a charity, is bringing the truck to Missouri from San Diego. Inside the truck is a 720-pound piece of the south tower of the World Trade Center, which will be available to view later in the week.
People can take pictures of the truck this evening, and then it will be moved to get ready for events Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, events start at 7 p.m. at the south lawn of the Capitol, with keynote speaker Joe Torrillo. He is a retired New York City Fire Department lieutenant who was found alive after missing and presumed dead for three days in the rubble of the Trade Center. There will also be the reading by local high school students of the 2,977 names of those who lost their lives on 9/11.
On Saturday, Sept. 11, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K Run/Walk will start at 8:30 a.m. on the south steps of the Capitol.
At 10:30 a.m., the Jefferson City Veterans Council will have a re-dedication of the Veterans Plaza at the Jefferson City Police Department.
At noon Saturday, the Patriot Day Parade will start at the corner of Broadway and High streets. The solemn event featuring first responders, military and veteran units. They encourage bands to participate by playing patriotic music and welcome floats showing a patriotic theme.
Also Saturday, the Missouri Division of Fire Safety will conduct its 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at 1 p.m. at the Jefferson State Office Building.
A pulled pork meal starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Sellinger Center will benefit the Fire Fighters Museum in Kingdom City.
We thank the 30-plus members that comprise the Patriot Day Committee. They represent state and city governments agencies, veterans organizations and first responders.
We can honor our country, as well as their work, by attending the events. And if you have children who are of age to understand, it's a good opportunity to teach them what happened. They are the future leaders of our country — some of whom may be tasked with defending it.