BELFAST, Maine — It’s been 18 years, but the emotion and the horror of the 9/11 attacks has not faded for Joanna Deetjen of Newport.
“It still makes me cry,” she said Wednesday during the annual 9/11 remembrance walk in Belfast.
Not long after the four hijacked airplanes crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, killing nearly 3,000 people altogether, Deetjen went to New York City. What she saw there has stuck with her.
“The buildings were still smoldering at that point,” she said, adding that she wanted to participate in the walk to show her “remembrance and respect.”
Deetjen was among dozens who crossed the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Belfast, carrying American flags and the weight of the memories of that day with them. Cars traveling on U.S. Route 1, towers over the bridge, honked in support as they marched. A moody gray sky made an apt backdrop for the event, which is held by the Belfast Lions Club.
Steve Brown, a Vietnam-era veteran, is the bugler at the Randall Collins VFW Post 3108 in Belfast, and always plays at the beginning of the walk.
“Every year, it’s an honor,” he said.