When Pentagon employees wanted to come up with an idea to honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, they organized an event that became a national tradition.
The first America Supports You Freedom Walk consisted of 15,000 people walking from the Pentagon to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Now, communities in all 50 states and other nations participate in the annual event to remember the victims of the attacks and honor the military, police, and firefighters still risking their lives for our safety.
“It’s just to remember, of course, what happened September the 11th, but also to celebrate the lives of the people that are in harm’s way every day,” said Lakita Frazier, the director of Suffolk Parks and Recreation. “Not only the individuals that are fighting in the war, but also our local firefighters and police officers.”
This year’s walk in Suffolk will commence on Thursday, Sept. 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Suffolk Seaboard Station Museum, 326 N. Main St. Registration begins at 5 p.m. The walk is free for all ages, and no money or sponsors need to be raised to walk. It’s just for people who want to remember the victims and honor our public servants, Frazier said.
“We just want to invite the community to come out to remember those that have fallen for our freedom, and those who are still doing it for us today,” she said.
When the walk, approximately one mile, ends at Constant’s Wharf Park, the patriotic events continue. The presentation of colors, national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance will be held, and Mayor Linda Johnson, Chief of Police William Freeman and Chief of Fire and Rescue Mark Outlaw will speak. Candles will also be lit in memory and honor of those who died on Sept. 11, 2001.
For more information or to register online, visit www.suffolk.va.us, or the Suffolk Parks and Recreation office at 110 W. Finney Ave. You may also call 514-7257.