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SALT LAKE CITY -- Nine years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Utahns remembered the day that forever changed our nation.
The anniversary certainly brings up many dark memories, but it also gives people a chance to honor those who died, as well as the soldiers who fought afterward.
Utahns celebrated Patriot Day with events all over the state. Gov. Gary Herbert ordered all flags be flown at half-staff.
An entire generation of young Americans was about to gain a new understanding of the value of freedom and its cost.
–Rep. Jim Matheson
The soldiers with the 405th Civil Affairs Battalion certainly know what it means to fight as Americans. They returned from Afghanistan recently and were honored with a homecoming ceremony at the State Capitol Saturday, combined with the significance of 9/11.
"It's really wonderful to tie the two events together because it had a lot of meaning for a lot of people that came in," said Sgt. Landon Henscheid. "They get to see their families. It's such an important day."
For some of the soldiers, 9/11 is the reason they are in the military now.
"It was a deciding factor in all our lives for me to step back into the military and feel like I'm playing some kind of role in helping out this country," said 1st Lt. Kimo Bandmann.
In Sandy, the Healing Fields ceremony has become an annual tradition. It's a way to pay tribute to those who died in the attacks. Rep. Jim Matheson remembered the day.
"An entire generation of young Americans was about to gain a new understanding of the value of freedom and its cost," he said.
Making care packages for overseas troops is how one Kearns group honored those still fighting in the Middle East. The volunteers filled at least 200 boxes with books, magazines, toiletries, stationary and snacks.
"We figured it was an appropriate day to honor those who have given their lives for us and for our country, and for all of our freedoms we have," said Kari Fellows, an organizer of the event.
The Kearns group also made quilts for disabled veterans as a way of thanking them for making such a great sacrifice.