Naperville’s 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony

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From “America, America” to “God Bless America,” songs rang through Naperville on 9/11 to bring us together on a day of reflection.

Memories of September 11, 2001 are forever with all of us, but those personally impacted by the events that day hold those memories a bit closer.

“This is a day just like it was 17 years ago weather-wise. So it makes it very real to me and that was a day that changed the world for a lot of us, not just me but we all learned that oceans were no longer going to protect us”

Pat’s son Dan, died during the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon, and at Naperville’s annual September 11 Remembrance Ceremony, she hung a commemorative wreath in Dan’s memory.

As the sun set over the Riverwalk, a crowd gathered at the Dan Shanower Memorial for the ceremony, where Naperville’s first responders noted how to triumph over tragedy.

“As we remember that faithful day 17 years ago, let’s remember not with sorrow and heavy hearts, for that is what the 9/11 terrorists intended to accomplish. Instead let us continue to extend love, kindness and pride for one another, for who we are and why we are here. Smile when you see your neighbor, embrace these freedoms and help others in need.”

Featured speaker Kris Habermehl, a CBS news helicopter reporter and firefighter lieutenant, reviewed the timeline of events on 9/11 and reminded the audience of the good they can do in honor of that day.

“And I challenge you – every single time you bring up 9/11 what’s the first thing that’s going to be out of your friend’s mouth? ‘You know where I was.’ ‘You know what I was doing?’ Use it as a conversation starter; use it as a way to love your fellow man.”

And Pat Shanower hopes those messages extend into schools, to teach the next generation her son’s motto, that freedom isn’t free.

“I hope school children will be made aware of what happened that day and that their teachers will teach them important values about our country that they should remember.”

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.