Twelve years after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, ceremonies were held in the Fox Valley to reflect and to commemorate the lives lost.
As early-morning rain showers gave way to sunshine Wednesday, the symbolism wasn't lost on those in attendance.
"Sept. 11th always starts with rain, and the rain showers are there for us to remember the sorrow that we experienced on that day," Elgin event emcee Tricia Dieringer said. "But there's always the sun. And the sun is even more important than the sorrow that we experienced on that day. The sun is our resiliency as a nation, how we come back and how we overcome the grief of that day."
The Elgin Fire Department bell ringers conducted a "Sounding of the Bells" in remembrance, a rifle salute and taps echoed near the Elgin Police Department and City Hall. Judson University President Gene Crume offered a reminder of why Patriot Day is special.
"Sept. 11th is a time for community, for all communities, to recognize and say thank you to our friends and neighbors and patriots and individuals who gave so much on that day, and continue to give so much on all the days since then," he said.
In Carpentersville, approximately 100 students from Parkview Elementary School filed past a row of more than 400 American flags placed in front of the Firefighter/Sept. 11 memorial at Fire Station 1. The flags represented the first responders who gave their lives that day helping others.
"This is the 12th year and we are going to continue this tradition for the kids," Carpentersville Assistant Fire Chief John Skillman said. "Every year we want to remember."
Village president Ed Ritter also placed a wreath at the memorial in honor of those who perished.