9/11 Memorial Ceremony held in Fairbanks to honor lives lost

Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 6:33 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - A memorial ceremony was held Friday Sept. 11th in downtown Fairbanks, at the Veteran’s Memorial Park. This special event was held to remember the heroes of that tragic day by honoring the men and women who gave their lives. This event was organized by Brad Bunnell, Purple Heart recipient and Outreach Coordinator of the Fairbanks Veterans Center. We spoke with him about this memorial service and what it means to him.

“Here in Alaska, we have a lot of veterans and active duty up here. Who actually touched our hearts because September 11th, it stirred up our community here in Fairbanks, in the North Star Borough, together. Because we were a sleepy town, we do a lot of blue collar stuff, but when the towers got hit we woke up, we came together,” said Bunnell.

At the memorial there were several speakers who stepped forward with presentations and speeches, Fairbanks Fire Chief Tod Chambers had this to say about the first responders, the brave individuals who put themselves at risk in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

“We all know 9/11 changed the world. It reshaped it, it reformed it. It was a tragic event. It came from rage and hate and it left scars and broken people. However in all that destruction in all that madness, we got to remember those examples that bring us hope and that’s the service. Those people that did what they do, it’s not just fire service, it’s those other people that went in there and did the things they needed to do, that worked the pile, that sacrificed at ground zero. They didn’t know they were going to get cancer, they just did what they needed to do and the people that stood behind them so they could do it. Service and doing your duty and not backing down. That is the lesson. That’s the lesson that we should all take away from this.”

As it’s been 19 years since the fall of the World Trade Center, we asked Bunnell what message he would give to the younger generations who were born after the disaster.

“I would tell the younger generation “don’t forget”. Their older brothers, older sisters, their fathers, their uncles, when we were called we went ahead and did what we had to do. Just don’t forget it. Read up on it. Research it. You know, get educated as to what happened September 11th, 2001. Because as we all know it was a huge, huge unfortunate tragic event in our history.”

“A thank you goes out to all the organizations that helped make this possible. I want to say thank you again [to] the Fairbanks North Star Borough for coming on this little chilly day. It’s a somber day,” said Bunnell.

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