Fergus Falls came out in a big way to support first responders on Saturday at the 9/11 Walk of Remembrance.
After a short program led by Michael Mortenson and Rev. Mark Johnson, Fergus Falls police, members of the Fergus Falls fire department, EMTs with Ringdahl Ambulance service and members of the military started the trek from the north parking lot of the police station followed by a very large crowd of civilians and members of the community.
Bells were tolled throughout the day, corresponding with the major events of 9/11 — planes hitting the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the towers collapsing and the crash landing of the plane in a field following an ambush on the terrorists by a brave group of passengers.
“Your willingness to be here today shows your commitment to lives that were lost and on the darkest day in America, “ Mortenson told the group.
Two minutes of complete silence were observed to honor all the fallen first responders and those lost in the tragedy that struck this nation on Sept. 11, 2001.
Johnson pointed out that even though Fergus Falls was far removed from the tragedy, it affected the lives of all of us, as everyone lost something on that fateful day in September.
After a prayer of remembrance and other remarks by Johnson, the group proceeded down Washington Avenue and the crowd concluded the walk at the Fergus Falls Fire Station four blocks from the start of the route. Side streets had been blocked off in preparation of the event.
Unofficial attendance was estimated at 250 people or more.
The idea for this year’s Walk of Remembrance was conceived and organized by Mortenson, Al Kremeier and Mark Leighton. The event was made possible by a number of volunteers, Fergus Falls Fire Chief Ryan Muchow, lead training officer, Craig Hebert, Police Chief Kyle Bergren, and many others.
Attendees flocked to social media following the event, sharing their experiences from 9/11 along with their overwhelmingly positive feedback from the Walk of Remembrance. Many shared that they brought their children who were not yet born when the attack occurred, so they could learn and appreciate the impact 9/11 had on so many.