Bostonians and others around New England on Wednesday marked the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people.
A series of events were scheduled in Boston to honor the victims and first responders, starting with the annual Day of Remembrance Blood Drive at Fenway Park, which began at 6 a.m. Some 500 donors were expected to participate in the blood drive, among them Gov. Charlie Baker and his wife, Lauren.
Organizers of the blood drive gave out clam chowder to those who donated, as well as discounted tours of Fenway. More information here.
Christy Coombs stopped by the blood drive as a way to honor her husband, Jeff, who was on Flight 11. In addition to paying tribute, she is pushing to make sure the tragedy is included in curriculums for history classes.
"We want this taught earlier in the U.S. history program. It's necessary that the kids learn this. It's their history, but it's our lifetime," Coombs said.
The Massachusetts State House hosted a ceremony honoring locals impacted by the attack.
At 8:15 a.m., flags at the state house were lowered to half-staff, followed by a moment of silence. Officials then read the names of the 206 victims of Sept. 11 whose lives were connected to Massachusetts.
At 1 p.m., Mayor Marty Walsh hosted a wreath-laying ceremony at the Boston Public Garden, where some family members of the victims were in attendance.
"Their families miss them as if it happened yesterday. We stand in awe of your love and your resilience," Walsh said, noting that a generation has grown up with no memory of the attack.
The Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund marked the anniversary with a day of service on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The 11th annual event involved hundreds of volunteers packing care packages for soldiers and veterans.
Cindy McGinty, who lost her husband in the attacks, was at the event with her son. She said time does not heal the pain, but giving back in his honor does help.
"I don't want the terrorists to own the day," McGinty said. "This is how I want to remember Sept. 11, all the good things that happened as a result."