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Virginians gather at war memorial to honor those who died in 9/11 attacks

Several service members salute the American flag
Several service members salute the American flag during a ceremony held Monday at the Virginia War Memorial to remember those who died during the 9/11 attacks. (Photos: Patrick Larsen/VPM News)

Virginians gathered for a Patriot Day remembrance of the civilians and first responders who died in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, at the Virginia War Memorial on Monday. 

The ceremony, attended by more than 100 people, took place in the Shrine of Memory, underneath a towering glass wall etched with the names of 175 Virginians who died while serving in the U.S. military in the years since 9/11. 

Dr. Clay Mountcastle, director of the war memorial, said they should be remembered, too. 

“The events of 9/11 put this nation on a path that resulted in those names being here,” Mountcastle said. “For that reason, we want to include those Virginians and their memory in today’s service.”  

Former Gov. Jim Gilmore addressed the crowd. He was in office during the attacks, and he described it as a confusing time. 

“We didn’t know what was going to happen,” Gilmore said of the period after planes struck both towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. “It was the uncertainty of it that required us to be prepared to do what we had to do.” 

Frederick Corritone, a former New York City police officer who attended the ceremony, said remembering the struggle of 9/11 is important. 

“I was in New York on 9/11,” Corritone said. “I participated for two days there. It was a terrible, terrible moment for America, but we supported, we came back. We’re strong. We come out here to support and show our allegiance to a great country.” 

Gilmore said with war ongoing in Ukraine, as well as political and social strife at home, it’s a good time to reflect. 

“This is a good time for us to think a little bit about what really is American patriotism,” Gilmore said. 


Patrick Larsen is VPM News' environment and energy reporter, and fill-in host.
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