MIFFLINBURG — The Mifflinburg Hose Company hosts the fourth annual 9/11 Memorial Walk today in honor of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks 18 years ago.
The 34.3-mile journey represents the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists attacked the United States and took down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Along the route, the participants will pause to read the names of those lost.
"This has become a really good event for the community," said Mifflinburg Hose Company Captain Jarred Fry. "A lot of people are engaged and involved. It's first and foremost all about 9/11 and the firefighters and civilians who were victimized that day. It's important to remember what happened. It's already 18 years ago. It's hard to fathom that."
Last year, 12 people made the full 34.3-mile walk with at least 50 people walking at different parts of the journey. This year, Fry said he expects 18 people to finish the walk and between 40 and 60 people to join at different points.
They will start at 3 a.m. today in Hughesville, march south on Route 405 through Muncy, Montgomery, Watsontown, Milton and then turn onto Route 45 to head through Lewisburg and onto the hose company, Station 3, in Mifflinburg, at approximately 1 p.m. with an escort of the company's four trucks and a police cruiser.
Fry noted more younger people are participating this year that weren't alive when the events occurred or are too young to remember. This includes Clarity Prep, Inc., an athletic youth mentoring program from Mifflinburg.
"It's good to see young kids have the values of honoring people and the events that transformed their lives," said Fry. "This event was life-changing. It's pretty incredible the impact it had. We should never forget."
Griffin Keiser, a 19-year-old Mifflinburg Hose firefighter from Mazeppa, walked the full 34.3 miles last year and plans to do it again today. He was almost 2 years old on Sept. 11, 2001, and doesn't remember much from that day
"I know it's important," he said. "Firefighting is a brotherhood. It's part of my duty to honor the fallen."
Participants are encouraged to make a donation, which will be donated to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.