ST. CLOUD -- First responders, members of the armed forces, elected officials and a handful of citizens gathered Friday afternoon to remember and honor those lost on September 11, 2001.

The annual "Day of Remembrance" ceremony, this year held on 1st Street N. next to the St. Cloud Fire Department, included remarks from St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis, Police Chief Blair Anderson and Fire Chief Dean Wrobbel, and a prayer led by Pastor Carol Smith from Place of Hope. Other highlights included the traditional singing of the national anthem, a 21-gun salute by St. Cloud Metro Vets, and the playing of taps.

Kleis says, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the city chose not to heavily publicize this year's ceremony in an effort to ensure proper social distancing and keep city emergency personnel safe.

This year marks the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people after four planes were hijacked and crashed in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.

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