Chicagoans gather at Navy Pier to give back, remember lives lost on 9/11

September 11th Anniversary

CHICAGO — As the sun rose over Chicago, there was a lot of movement at Navy Pier as crowds began to gather with a goal of giving back on the nation’s somber 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

For Molly Limmer, the memory of that day is especially vivid.

“I was in Manhattan on 9/11. More people kept walking in as we watched the first tower burn and we watched second plane hit the tower on the TV and we all realized what that meant,” Limmer said.

As realization struck, everyone began to leave.

“The most vivid memory I have is walking up 6th Avenue and seeing only the North Tower standing as it burned after the South Tower had fallen,” Limmer said.

Limmer had gotten married a year earlier and a photo from that day is one she and her husband have treasured through the years.

“Our wedding picture is in front of the towers. Every year when my children were little, I would show them the photo. These are these beautiful buildings that used to stand in downtown Manhattan that are gone,” Limmer said.

Having lived through the loss that day, Limmer wanted to be part of an event focused on community.

“It’s important to remember in this divided age we live in how we came together 20 years ago and all mourned our city and our country,” Limmer said.

Limmer and many other volunteers from a variety of organizations have been packing up meals to help combat hunger around Chicago, with 200,000 of them being boxed up and shipped out to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

For those who learned of the horrors that day as history, those pictures and sacrifices made that day have encouraged people to do good in their memory.

“I’m here today because I like volunteering and remembering the people who died that day, and the first responders who sacrificed their lives to help them,” Limmer said.

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