'Their names should never be forgotten': 20 years later, ceremony at Minnesota Capitol honors the victims of 9/11 | KSTP.com

'Their names should never be forgotten': 20 years later, ceremony at Minnesota Capitol honors the victims of 9/11

Brittney Ermon
Updated: September 11, 2021 11:41 PM
Created: September 11, 2021 05:31 PM

Minnesotans commemorated the 20th anniversary of 9/11 on the Minnesota State Capitol grounds on Saturday morning. 

The program honored lives lost and highlighted moments we'll never forget. 

Twenty years ago, terrorists hijacked four American planes. Two of them destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City. The third plane crashed into the Pentagon, leaving a gaping hole in the building and the hearts of Americans.

“I saw the first plane hit the twin tower. You never forget it,” Pasee Yang, Lake Elmo resident said. 

Americans were able to gain control of the fourth plane stopping another attack. Flight 93 plowed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 

Nearly 3,000 people died on 9/11. Seven of them were Minnesotans. 

"Their names should never be forgotten. They're the names of people who faced death and in their last moments called home to say, 'Be brave, I love you,’” Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said. 

Hundreds of Minnesotans gathered on the State Capitol grounds to reflect and remember. 

The ceremony dug up painful memories for some. 

“Our son was killed in action. Oct. 4, 2010, in Shekhabad, Afghanistan,” New London, Minnesota, resident Rick Clark said.

Army Pfc. Ryane G. Clark, a Minnesota native, was 22 years old when he died.

"We miss him,” Clark said.

In all, 109 service members from Minnesota paid the ultimate sacrifice fighting in the global war on terrorism. 

Clark says 9/11 gave birth to a wave of unity in the U.S.

"I believe at the time, it did bring the whole nation together. I personally feel that that bond is fading over time,” he said. 

But for a moment, while remembering one of America’s darkest days, there was a beacon of light. 

"This morning here at the Capitol grounds we all came together as one," Clark said.

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