9/11 Victims, Heroes Honored In Colorado On 15th Anniversary

By Melissa Garcia

DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – Thousands of Coloradans came together Sunday to honor the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives on that day 15 years ago.

City officials partnered with the state to host a ceremony called Colorado Remembers 9/11.

The Colorado Remembers 9/11 event in Civic Center Park (credit: CBS)

The Colorado Remembers 9/11 event in Civic Center Park (credit: CBS)

“9/11 was a national tragedy,” said Jordan Clark, Assistant Director with Counter Terrorism Education Learning Lab.

The nonprofit agency arranged for steel that was recovered from the World Trade Center to be put on display in the park during the day of tribute.

The Colorado Remembers 9/11 event in Civic Center Park (credit: CBS)

The Colorado Remembers 9/11 event in Civic Center Park (credit: CBS)

The ceremony began with a march of 300 military members from the state Capitol building to Civic Center Park.

Howitzer cannons fired off, giving people goosebumps.

“We witnessed courage and extraordinary heroism from ordinary men and women,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper during a speech about the first responders who rushed in to rescue victims from the burning buildings.

Roger Dickinson was visiting New York City when planes hit the World Trade Center just blocks away.

The Colorado Remembers 9/11 event in Civic Center Park (credit: CBS)

The Colorado Remembers 9/11 event in Civic Center Park (credit: CBS)

“We could see the fires and all from the building, and the mass of people that were walking from lower Manhattan to try to escape,” Dickinson said.

For most people, it was an unforgettable moment in history.

“I was in fifth grade,” said Bethany Porter. “We walked into the school and they had it on the news.”

The Colorado Remembers 9/11 event in Civic Center Park (credit: CBS)

The Colorado Remembers 9/11 event in Civic Center Park (credit: CBS)

Porter and her significant other, Terry Lee, lost a cousin in the attack. Now they want to make sure that the next generation never forgets what happened.

“She understands a little bit,” Lee said of the couple’s 3-year-old daughter. “All we can do is just educate our children (that) heinous acts like that don’t represent the people of the world.”

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

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