INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana residents remembered the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks Wednesday in solemn memorials and acts of volunteerism, while the former vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission cautioned the United States can’t let its guard down against terrorism.
A piece of steel recovered from the World Trade Center accompanied a firefighter’s helmet, a police officer’s hat, flowers and photographs at a ceremony at Indianapolis International Airport. Firefighters sang the national anthem to observers, who included airport emergency responders deployed to Ground Zero.
Tributes also were held at the 9/11 memorial in downtown Indianapolis, where speakers included Don Basco of Dyer, who was at work in the World Trade Center when the attacks occurred.
Former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton told The Herald-Times that he’s proud that al-Qaida hasn’t been able to launch another attack on U.S. soil since the 2001 strike. But he says Americans can’t afford to forget what happened that day.
“The threat is still genuine,” said Hamilton, who now heads Indiana University’s Center on Congress. “I don’t want to put people in a panic, but I don’t want them to let their guard down.”
Navy veteran Rocky Carter, who visited the Indianapolis 9/11 memorial for the first time Wednesday, isn’t about to forget.
“All the men and women that went to work that day — just wiped out ... It really makes me angry,” Carter said.
In Greenwood, Center Grove High School students volunteered at food pantries and with community groups and helped elderly homeowners during a day of caring.
Jack Boksa, 17, said he was glad to do something positive on the anniversary of the attacks.
“It makes you feel better,” Boksa told The Indianapolis Star, “because you are helping someone else.”