CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - 19 years since the coordinated hijackings by Islamic Terrorist group al-Qaida, Americans remember the thousands of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Those in the Lowcountry are honoring the fallen, but a little differently this year.
Normally, Charlestonians would see hundreds of first responders and people from the community joining in on the four-mile walk over the Ravenel Bridge.
However in an effort to keep people safe, leaders of the walk say they decided to hold this year’s event virtually.
The ceremony started at Patriots Point this year.
The North Charleston Fire Department Honor Guard marched down the pier and up to the flight deck of the USS Yorktown at the exact moment the first plane was flown into the North Tower, 8:46 a.m.
The Honor Guard briefly paused when the second plane struck the South Tower at 9:03 a.m., and following a moment of silence, first responders raised the NYPD and FDNY flags.
“When you look at the amount of lives impacted by the pandemic, who have been sick and become ill… When you think about that, it’s an easy decision,” 9/11 Silent Walk Executive Director Capt. Tian Griffieth says. “It is definitely heartbreaking you won’t get to see the people you’re used to seeing. We have people that come from all over the nation, even from Canada, and we look forward to seeing them each year. So it’s very hard to not have them come here, but it’s also, we look at we’re all first responders. We don’t want to have them travel to us and make us sick or we get them sick. And so we want to keep it safe and keep everybody in their own in their own regions. I think this is a safer path to get everything accomplished.”
The Silent Walk was started in 2013, and even though people aren’t physically gathering this year, Griffieth says the message is still there in honoring those lives lost.
“I think the big thing is just getting onto the Patriots Point stream tomorrow, watching the videos,” Griffieth says. “Even in a greater sense, tomorrow is kind of what we’ve known and kind of labeled Patriots Day. Take an opportunity to do something nice for someone out of the kindness of your heart in memory of those that were lost and in memory of those who are still struggling.”
Griffieth says he hopes the community will still participate.
Officials with Patriots Point reminded everyone that although they will not be able to physically see the ceremony, they provided two places online where observers can watch.
Griffieth said a livestream of the event will be available on Patriots Point’s Facebook page. Additionally, he said the virtual ceremony can be viewed on Youtube.