Rockton 'Never Forget Tribute' honors victims of 9/11 terrorist attacks

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ROCKTON, Ill (WIFR) -- To honor those whose who lost their lives on September 11 attacks 18 years ago, local first responders came together for the 3rd annual 9/11 Never Forget Tribute.

Community members, leaders and veterans shared stories of how 9/11 affected them.

"It was just a normal day, however little did we know that, that morning was going to change our lives dramatically, all of us,” said Rockton Fire Chief Kirk Wilson.

Forever changing the course of history and how we honor first responders.

"There was no color, no race, there was no issues of different sexes or anything like that,” said Rockford Police officer Joel Givens. “The whole nation banded together."

Speakers gave calls for unity in the nation, and respect for first responders.

"You know we really have to clean up our language,” said former Rockford Police and Fire chaplain Rev. William Wentink.

“Not one of those people gave their lives, their lives were taken from them while they were standing the line of good and evil, while they were bringing justice where there's injustice, while they were bringing peace where there’s violence, and while they were bringing order where there's chaos."

Many in attendance said that 9/11 should never be forgotten, but that is also shouldn't be celebrated. Instead, it is a day of remembrance to honor the men and women whose lives were taken while protecting our nation.

2,977 people were killed on September 11, 2001, making it the deadliest terrorist act in world history.