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Published September 11, 2011, 07:12 PM

Thousands Gather in Newfolden, MN, to Remember a Day That Changed America

NEWFOLDEN, MN, (WDAZ-TV) - In a town of just 362, thousands gathered Sunday to remember the victims and honor the heroes of September 11, 2001.

NEWFOLDEN, MN, (WDAZ-TV) - In a town of just 362, thousands gathered Sunday to remember the victims and honor the heroes of September 11, 2001.

It was a day of unity in Newfolden, where each person honoring the brave symbolized one victim killed ten years ago.

"The day here is exactly like it was ten years ago. Clear blue skies, not a cloud in the sky and then it was all just shattered," Middle River resident David Cruse said.

"I think it was an event that affected everybody in one way or another," Grand Forks resident Carla Erickson said.

As many as 5,000 people gathered to mark the anniversary of one of the darkest days in United States history.

People young and old came out to pay tribute.

"I think it's pretty good today, I just feel sorry for all those people who died," Eric Erickson, who wasn't born yet on September 11, 2011, said.

A re-creation of the catastrophic events include a flyover by two F-16 fighter jets, fireworks and emergency responders from surrounding communities.

"People gave their lives running into those burning buildings to save others. Kind of a selfless act," Ryan Johnson, a Newfolden firefighter, said.

"It's kind of a bittersweet moment because you're mourning the people who were lost, but then all the people here are celebrating America and our patriotism. That's what we're all about," Newfolden resident Chris Rokke said.

The ceremony brought back painful memories, but signified strength in a country that came together and united as one.

"It's a sad day, but a hopeful day, because after 9/11, we did pull together," Minnesota representative Collin Peterson said.

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