A Minnesota concert to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks enveloped the Lake Harriet bandshell Wednesday night.
The tribute recognized the victims of the attacks and paid tribute to the first responders, both those at ground zero and at home in our own communities.
"The best thing to do in the community is get the whole community together and honoring your first responders. You never know if something's going to happen here and you need to deal with those people," event chairwoman Mary Helmbrecht said. "It just reminds everybody that everyone's important, and it brings the community together, and what better way than music?"
In total, 300 event participants filled the band shell, including color guards from 11 organizations. The pre-show started at 5 p.m. and the main performance, including a traditional orchestra and chorus, commenced at 7 p.m.
"We're a community of people who are interested in what other people are doing, that's kind of the American way," event chairman Jim Sample said. "Whether it's 9/11 or Pearl Harbor Day, or any other major memorial, people tend to want to get together -- they talk to their family, they talk to their friends. The 9/11 concert is a way for us to communicate back to the people in this community. Our theme is ‘our community remembers,' so that's why we want to bring people together and we celebrate this with music, because music does it so well, much better than words can."
"I've heard them rehearsing, and they are fantastic. These are all people volunteering for this -- they're coming from all over the place, they're not just a single band or orchestra, they're all coming together for this. It's actually making me choke up right now," event organizer Joe Gardner told FOX 9 News.
About 4,000 people are expected to attend the Minnesota event to remember the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pa.
DO A GOOD DEED TODAY
Countless volunteer networks will spread their goodwill to honor those who died. At http://www.911day.org, thousands have pledged to perform a good deed -- everything from giving blood to volunteers to feeding the homeless -- to do their part as they remember today with heavy hearts.