Belfast veterans honor anniversary of September 11th with annual bridge walk

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BELFAST, Maine (WABI) - 17 years ago, the Belfast Lions Club began marching across a bridge in their city, to honor the people we lost in the September 11th attacks.

A few years later, they invited the VFW post to join in.

To this day they continue to solemnly acknowledge this anniversary.

Photojournalist Mark Rediker takes us there:

We heard from VFW Post Commander, Anthony Kimble: "Today we are marching across the bridge, the memorial bridge in Belfast, Maine in remembrance of 9/11. We come out here for the purpose of being able to remember a horrible event in our country. We are not democrats, we are not republicans, we are Americans. And we come together as veterans that served for this country. And as Veterans of Foreign Wars, we went to combat. So we understand that they brought the combat to our doorstep, and we will never forget the thousands of lives that were sacrificed for that day.

We're going to go down, we're going to get in formation, we are going to have the American flag, the POW flag, our post colors, the 9/11 flag. We're going to stand and we're going to have rifles on either side. And then we are going to go and have a 21 gun salute and we're going to play Taps. And once Taps concludes, we'll get in position and be ready to step off at 8:46."

"We can't let people forget. Our country was attacked three times, and you just can't let that go by. There are people now that don't remember it.," remarked Gary Philbrick, who is the chairman for this annual project.

"The first step is at 8:46. That is when the first plane hit the tower. That is important for us to always remember. That was the day that our country was shaken to its core," Kimble told us.

"A lot of people say they wish we could go back to September 12th, 2001, because the country was so united at that time," expressed Jim Roberts, VFW Post Operations Manager.

"I hope so. I'd like to think that. Because I know the people that I talk to, that's what we want to happen, so, we have to make it happen. And things like this today help us remember that," said Waldo County Sheriff Jeff Trafton.

"Those who forget history are destined to repeat it. So if we keep this memory alive, perhaps we can find resolve," added Roberts.

Kimble continued, "It's not just us walking. We are also reminding everybody that drives by and sees us that today is a day that we come together. We are Americans, and this is a horrible day, but we will not forget. We will not forget."