The events of Sept. 11, 2001 were remembered in Antioch last week as hundreds of people from across East County came together for the annual Freedom Walk, sponsored by Antioch Military Families and Friends.
Led by Boy Scouts from Troop 151, the procession wound its way around Somersville Towne Center, attracting honks and waves from passing motorists. Dozens of American flags and banners proclaiming support for the troops fluttered in the breeze as walkers passed, some holding signs vowing that We will never forget.
After circling the mall and making its way inside, the crowd gathered to hear messages from elected officials, residents and veterans.
We gather to reflect, to reminisce and to honor those thousands of men, women and children who died on that tragic day and since then in the war against terror, said Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Jim Davis. We will always remember, and hope never to forget where we were, what we were doing, and who we were with on hearing (that) America had been attacked.
One speaker was Denise Aragon, the mother of Sgt. John Aragon, an Antioch resident killed in Iraq in June. He was my hero, she said. He came home, but not to my home. He went home to heaven.
For some, the event was about more than honoring the fallen. We're walking to show we remember, and to show we care about the troops who are bearing the brunt of this for us now, said Antioch resident Terry Englund.
But we're also walking for each other, to show each other we're not the only ones who still feel pain over what happened to our country.