20 Years Later, We Still Remember Article
20 Years Later, We Still Remember
The annual Mission43 Miles of Remembrance event commemorates 9/11
On the afternoon of September 11, 2021, more than 1,000 Idahoans and members of Mission43 met at the Eagle Sports Complex in Eagle, Idaho, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Veterans, current military members, community supporters, friends and family members tackled a challenging 5K course together to honor the spirit of service and sacrifice from that fateful day.
In an interview with KIVI’s Lynsey Amundson, Mission43 member Brooke Frye said, “I enjoyed the silence and just taking a moment to reflect on all the privileges that we have today just being able to be here surrounded by people. It is a luxury, and it is not something that everyone gets to enjoy.”
After hosting the annual event virtually in 2020, the in-person camaraderie was a welcomed change. Amidst the walks, runs and full-gear rucks, the event created a space for the community to discuss and reflect on complicated subjects like 9/11, terrorism and war.
“Idaho is a community that has the capacity to honor service and sacrifice, but it takes consistent effort to effectively do so. Service is meant to be commended, and the burden of sacrifice is meant to be shared.”Dan Nelson, Mission43 Engagement Director
“The 9/11 Miles of Remembrance event is a conversation starter, whether that conversation is between parents and their children or between total strangers,” said Mission43 Engagement Director Dan Nelson. “By sharing the memories of that day and learning about its events and the subsequent Global War on Terror, we keep September 11, 2001, from becoming a blurb in a history book.”
Inspired by the 9/11 Memorial Foundation, Mission43 developed adult and youth audio guides recapping the events of 9/11. Spurring emotion and thoughtful discussion, the narrations are suitable for a variety of age demographics. While the adult guide provides a moment-by-moment recap through firsthand accounts, the youth guide, written and narrated by 11-year-old Idahoan Reagan Madden, gives children a relatable voice to help them understand what the past means for them and their future.
“I think it is important for everyone to know what happened and how,” said eleven-year-old Reagan Madden.
In addition to audio guides, Nelson and members of Mission43 host education sessions for local schools to raise awareness and answer questions about 9/11 and the Global War on Terror. This year Mission43 visited Elevate Academy in Caldwell, Idaho, creating an open forum for students to learn about this important piece of history that may not be prominent in their textbooks.
“Terrorism and war are tough subjects for some people to broach, but without the effort and courage to confront these things, there is an increasing disconnect between the public and public servants,” Nelson said. “Idaho is a community that has the capacity to honor service and sacrifice, but it takes consistent effort to effectively do so. Service is meant to be commended, and the burden of sacrifice is meant to be shared.”
Photos from the annual Miles of Remembrance event feature people of all ages and abilities trekking through the browned, late-summer foothills of Idaho. The groups are peppered with flags and first responders in full gear. Although the images are full of smiling faces, it’s clear that these 1,000+ individuals are there for a common purpose, fully intent on ensuring the stories and sacrifice of the nearly 3,000 people killed on September 11, 2001, and the ensuing lives lost in the Global War on Terror are not forgotten.
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