AMARILLO - The 12th anniversary of September 11 is fast approaching, but hundreds of people gathered ahead of the anniversary Monday to honor the nation's fallen heroes while raising awareness for a national memorial.
The message today seemed to be that it's important to remember our past in order to have a future.
Retired New York City fire fighter Scott Schrimpe remembers that fateful September day well.
"I responded in my regular car and just shorts and T-shirt," Schrimpe said.
He ended up buried under rubble for a few hours, before being freed himself and continuing to search the rubble for other survivors. Outside the Civic Center Monday, were two giant chunks of concrete of what used to be a retaining wall supporting the South tower of the World Trade Center.
"The 9/11 memorial is built, now we have to build a memorial for our soldiers," Schrimpe said.
Schrimpe is now a tour guide of the Ground Zero Memorial, but says it's time a memorial is built for those who died after 9/11 in the War on Terror.
"All we need is one dollar from every American and we can start building this year," Schrimpe said.
One of the artifacts displayed in Amarillo Monday will become a main feature of the future memorial in Kansas City, a symbol for what became the beginning of a mission for so many.
"At that time, our youth was 10 years-old, 12 years-old, so 9/11 kind of directed the path they chose whether it be a fire fighter, police officer, or military," Schrimpe said.
Though today's events offered the panhandle a chance to honor our patriots, a memorial like the proposed one in Kansas City would give a chance for all Americans to do that everyday.
"From Pearl Harbor, to 9/11, we need to remember. Because if we don't remember our past, we don't have a future," said U.S. Marines Staff Sergeant Ronald Benton Jr.
You can donate to the American Fallen Warrior Memorial Foundation here.
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