It's been 16 years since the September 11th terror attacks. Plenty of memorials and remembrance ceremonies are planned across Western New York today.
"It's always going to be a part of our life and we just want to make sure the sacrifices and the deaths, we don't forget those," said William Healey, a veteran who served in Iraq.
Western New Yorkers gathered to remember the terror attacks from 16 years ago.
"I think all Americans felt the attack and what it did and emotionally, it affected so many people in so many different ways and there are so many connections to Western New York," said Healey.
The day's longest tribute started just before dawn at Delaware Park with Team Red White and Blue members running carrying American Flags and the Flag of Honor for more than 12 hours. This is the fifth year they will be holding the tribute to remember and honor the people who died in the attacks, as well as the servicemen and women who were killed or injured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We keep the flags moving all day long, it's not just one America and one Flag of honor. That's the minimum. We really have several going around the park all day long. We get first responders coming, taking a quick break, taking a lap with us in their gear. We get veterans coming and participating in their gear," said Christine Babin, the RWB Community Outreach Director
The tribute is not only to honor those who died in New York, Virginia. and Pennsylvania, but also the service members who died in the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. Air Force Niagara Falls Base Honor Guard played the “Taps” and held a moment of silence before starting the first lap.
"Our military members, they basically signed the ultimate blank check. Unfortunately some of them end up having to cash it, and the rest of us we didn't. It's my way to give back," said Babin.
State Trooper Mike Niezgoda stopped by the tribute. He deployed to ground zero for three months after the attacks, and then served in Iraq twice and Afghanistan once.
"I'm very proud of the community to get together like this to not only support the veterans, but the community awareness of this event is very great and it allows the public to have a remembrance of 9-11," said Mike Niezgoda, New York State Police Trooper.
Founded in 2010, Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of veterans by connecting them to their community through social and physical activities.
A separate remembrance ceremony was also be held at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park.