ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – With drivers honking and waving along the way to show their support, more than 100 people took part in the 12th annual March to the Arch Wednesday morning to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
“I do it because I want the people to be remembered,” explained event organizer Bo Drochelman before the group stepped off from Mike Duffy’s at Hwy. 141 and Clayton Rd. “The loss of life. Americans, brothers and sisters, husbands, wives and children who died needlessly.”
Drochelman started the walk 11 years ago on the first anniversary of the attacks, when he spontaneously set out on foot, heading east from his Town & Country home.
“My wife thought I was a little crazy,” he said, recalling that first, lonely walk. “I didn’t let her know I was going. I just left a note on the kitchen counter.”
He arrived at the Arch at 11 o’clock that night, and a new St. Louis tradition was born.
Among those taking part this year was Cheryl Cole of Chesterfield, who hadn’t been able to take part in past years because of her work schedule.
She was ready for the day-long walk.
“We never want to forget our history,” she said of her decision to sign up. “To never forget that life can change in an instant and live every day to the fullest.”
“We have to know that there are people who don’t like us,” organizer Drochelman replied when asked how parents should handle explaining the events of 9/11/01 to children too young to remember. “Even though this is the greatest country in the world, there is danger.
“But remember…Don’t be afraid.”
The annual remembrance saw it’s greatest amount of participation in 2011 on the 10th anniversary of the attacks when more than 1,000 people took part in the 8 hour long walk from West County to the Gateway Arch.