Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary held a commemorative ceremony for September 11th

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary held a ceremony commemorating the events of September 11th and honoring Juneau's first responders.

Photo by Jordan Lewis

Eric Forst, President of Glacier Valley Rotary, spoke with News of The North about the memorial established in the park.

“Well, the memorial started obviously right after 911. Our club was very moved by all the events of 9/11. And wanted to commemorate the events of that day and I think was within a couple of years of 911. We had this memorial up and funded and ready to go, which was a big undertaking for our club 20 years ago,” he said. “And every year since we’ve just made sure that we’ve taken on that responsibility of making sure that everybody has a chance to come and remember the events of 9/11 that tragedy that day, but also look forward and to thank all of the first responders we have in this community who sometimes get taken for granted a little bit. It’s nice to see all of them out here and a good crowd of other people to come and thank them for their service.”

Forst also spoke on the importance of having these remembrance ceremonies, not just for those who lived through it, but to teach those born after.

“I think that’s the most important reason to have it. Because you know, people my age, we lived through it, we were never going to forget it, right? Because it’s part of who we are. But that’s the reason I brought my daughter today. She’s 17. She was born after 9/11. She doesn’t have that frame of reference. And I was telling her this morning, I said, you know, so much going on in the world today can be all be tied back to this day,” Forst said. “It all runs back to this day, in one way or another. And so it’s really important. And you know, her uncle is a state trooper. And so it’s important to recognize the service that these people give and to make sure that we understand the events of that day and not to forget them and not to let them fade over time because it was a very, very real event and very tragic for our entire nation.”