SALT LAKE CITY– As the 15-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approach, Utahns are remembering those who lost their lives on that fateful day.
Construction crews at Salt Lake City International Airport took a break from work to mark the anniversary. Their tribute began with a moment of silence and the sound of bagpipes. It was a show of respect for first responders who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“We were at work that day as well, and to see it play out was, it was pretty horrific to sit there and watch it,” said Ronald Fife, Salt Lake International Airport Fire Chief.
“It's kind of eye-opening that it's been that long, yet it still feels so fresh,” said Mike Sabodski, an electrician for Taylor Electric.
The memorial program included a presentation of colors by Veterans of Foreign Wars. Salt Lake City Fire Station No. 9 raised the flag up high on their ladder, and construction workers who helped rebuild the memorial at Ground Zero and the Pentagon were also honored.
“It's a constant reminder to take a step back and know as civilians we have a lot of privileges because of the men and women who serve this great country of ours,” Sabodski said.
In Sandy, people can pay their respects by visiting the Utah Healing Field.
More than 3,000 flags are now posted in front of the Sandy City Hall. On each flag there are cards bearing the name of Utah service men and women or first responders killed since 2001.
Paul van Orden and his friend Daron Cooper, a military veteran and police officer from Anchorage, Alaska, are in town for the Utah vs. BYU game. They felt compelled to make a special stop to show their support.
“We thought that while we're out here, it would be a good tribute to stop by,” van Orden said.
“It's a very powerful display to see all the flags that are here," Cooper said. "It's something that changed the face of my generation forever."
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following statement on the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11:
“As we transition into fall and the election cycle heats up, it is especially important as a nation and as Utahns that we never forget the thousands of brave civilians, law enforcement, and first responders who died in a terrorist attack on our nation just fifteen years ago on September 11, 2001.
“This Sunday, on September 11, we honor the lives of those who died so tragically and far too soon. It’s also a day to show the world and those who disdain our way of life, our freedoms, and the U.S. Constitution that we will never forget the horrific events that occurred on 9/11 and that we will never stop fighting for those freedoms.
“Strategic national security and foreign policy with America's best interests in mind have never been as important as they are today. With that in mind, I ask that you please take a moment this weekend to say a prayer and/or conduct a moment of silence for those who lost their lives on 9/11 — and please never forget.
“God bless you, your family and those who work each day to secure our inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”