On Sept. 11, 2001, the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda killed about 3,000 and injured over 6,000 in four coordinated attacks in the U.S., including at the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

In the following years, more died from cancer and respiratory diseases related to the disaster, rescue and cleanup of the World Trade Center.

The Kosciusko County community is invited to come together and remember those lost in the attacks at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11 at the 17th annual 9/11 Memorial at the Patriot Day Ceremony in front of Center Lake Pavilion, Warsaw.

Local emergency services personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty also will be remembered.

Patriot Day Ceremony co-chair Mike Cox said, “With the number of people who lost their lives in the terrorist attack 17 years ago, its incredible loss of life, an attack on our soil, we believe that if we just kind of forget it that it opens the door to others who want to try the same thing, similar attacks on the U.S.”

He said a group of people got together and decided to mark the first anniversary in 2002 with a parade. It was one of the largest parades the county had seen in many years, he said.

The committee realized it couldn’t do a parade every year, so while a ceremony is held annually, a parade is held only every five years.

A few years later, the committee raised funds for a permanent 9/11 memorial. One side of the monument lists the names of local emergency services personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty.

The memorial was dedicated Nov. 1, 2009. Two years ago, benches were added to the memorial site so people can sit and reflect not only on 9/11 but everything that has happened since, Cox said. The monument and benches were paid for through fundraisers and donations.

The city of Warsaw and Parks Department donated the land at the horseshoe and help maintain the site. The Parks Department also plants flowers there each year, he said.

This year’s Patriot Day Ceremony will include a presentation of the colors, national anthem sang by Bryce Lippe, songs by Warsaw Police Department officer Brad Kellar, a brief message by Cox and a moment of silence.

The Kosciusko Ministerial Association, which has had its own ceremony at the courthouse square, is joining the Patriot Day Ceremony this year, Cox said.

He estimated the ceremony will take about half an hour. Those who attend are asked to bring their own chairs.