On Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, a few members of the Neal Thomas Jr.-Centennial Post 209 family in Colorado Springs, Colo., went on a 2.5-mile walk waving our flags to remember and honor our first responders, military and the thousands of Americans who lost their lives on that fateful 2001 day. It was the second annual 9-11 Remembrance Walk for our post. All along the way, we were met with horns honking as cars drove by and people shouting their support. They instinctively knew what we were doing and why we were there.
We formed at the Colorado Springs Memorial Park in front of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Memorial and walked to the Fallen Firefighter's Memorial about a mile away. While there, one of our members, Squadron 209 Commander Rob Barry, shared his experiences as a firefighter and his involvement flying to New York City to provide final honors for hundreds of his fellow first responders who gave their life that day.
After leaving the Fallen Firefighter's Memorial, we walked around the small Prospect Park Lake to the Peace Officer's Memorial. As with each stop along the way, Post 209 Adjutant Doug Millison shared some thoughts about why we need to continue events such as this to keep the memories alive for those who gave so much.
Our walk on this overcast and cool morning ended back at the GWOT Memorial, honoring those who took up the fight to combat terrorism wherever they are called to do so in order to stop further aggression against the American people.
While the walk was short, this meaningful event to honor and remember is lasting.