CLEVELAND (WJW) – Monday marks the 22nd anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, in New York City, a day that many Americans remember vividly.
Northeast Ohioans like John Kikol continue to make sure those lost are never forgotten.
“The most important part is remembering the families who lost 2,977 people that day, including 343 firefighters, 72 police of Port Authority officers,” he said. “And then we lost 7,000 young men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq, so the toll is quite significant.”
Kikol is the President of the Cleveland FBI Citizen Academy Alumni Association, the organizers for the Flags for Honor display on Public Square in Downtown Cleveland.
Six hundred flags are on display to honor fallen military, police, fire and other figures. A 9/11 remembrance ceremony will take place at 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Monday, where 343 NYFD firefighters and 72 NYPD and Police Authority officers will be honored.
“Unfortunately, sometimes the public does tend to forget,” Kikol said. “So, it’s important that, such as you come out and talk about 9/11 and at the ceremony tomorrow, we have a ceremony in Cleveland to make sure that we don’t forget.”
Many others are also happening across the region. In Berea, 2,997 flags are on display at the Berea Triangle, where a remembrance event will start at 9 a.m.
In Strongsville, the fire department will host a ceremony at 9:45 a.m. at Fire Station No. 4 at 17000 Prospect Road.
Cuyahoga Falls will host a Last Alarm Memorial Service at 8:30 a.m. at 2345 Fourth Street.
A memorial stair climb is taking place at the McKinley National Memorial at 8 a.m. in Canton and a ceremony will also be held in Stow at city hall from 8:30-9 a.m.
Kikol said many first responders are still dealing with lingering health issues, like cancer, from exposure to the dust and chemicals after the towers collapsed.
He’s hopeful that folks reflect this Sept.11 and support the Gold Star families who continually miss their loved ones.
“It’s so important that it’s not just tomorrow,” Kikol said. “It should be 365 days a year that we show our support for those families.”