DES MOINES, Iowa - Central Iowans all around the Metro honored and commemorated the 14th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks Friday.
"All you could think about were all those people, all the people in the buildings [On September 11, 2001,"] said Betty Glover, a Windsor Heights resident and member of its city council. "This is a good thing, to take a moment to celebrate all our public safety people, who gave their lives - both men and women - that day."
Services in Windsor Heights and Ankeny took place Friday morning. In Urbandale, at Deerfield Retirement Community, staff and residents offered first-responders, firefighters, police, and others a free barbecue lunch to say, "Thank you."
"The heroes that are in the firefighters, the police force, that are the first-responders, and we think about what they do to protect us, to keep us safe," said James Robinson, executive director for Deerfield. "And we want to show appreciation for that."
Members of the Greater Des Moines community chose to not only remember that day 14 years ago, but to thank those who risk their lives every day to protect everyone else.
"It was the single-deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States," said Chief of Police and Fire Services for Windsor Heights, Dennis McDaniel. "343 firefighters were lost, and 72 law enforcement officers were killed."
For many, the impact of September 11 is still very real, despite the years passed.
"It may be 14 years later, but it was just yesterday, it seems to me," said Glover.