Soldiers, veterans, emergency responders and civilian patriots all gathered Friday, 9/11 to remember and pay tribute in wake of the terrorist attacks that united Americans as one.

The VFW Auxiliary Post 1175 held its 16th annual Remembrance Ceremony at Atchison’s Veteran’s Riverfront Park.

The event also marked an awareness to observe the month of September as Military Suicide Awareness Month.

Atchison Police Chief Mike Wilson served as master of ceremonies that included a presentation of colors by the ROTC of Benedictine College, and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Officer Nichole Maendele, APD, shared her recollection of Sept. 11, 2001 when she was a student at Atchison Middle School. Maendele recalled the news announced at school, before it became known the nation was under a terrorist attack. After high school Maendele enlisted in the U.S. Army and was deployed to service in Afghanistan.

The Rev. Seth Montgomery offered a blessing and delivered a message inspiring all to put aside differences and come together as one to remember all who have given so freely for our nation.

Auxiliary members passed out fans encouraging all to show emotional support for veterans, and recognize the signs of suicide risk that require immediate attention:

Thinking about hurting or killing yourself.

Looking for ways to kill yourself.

Talking about death, dying or suicide.

Self-destructive behavior such as drug abuse, weapons, etc.

Call Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 if experiencing any of the following warning signs:

Hopelessness, feeling like there is no way out.

Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness and mood swings.

Feeling there is no reason to live.

Rage or anger.

Engaging in risky activities without thinking.

Increasing alcohol or drug abuse.

A withdrawal from family and friends.

Mary Meyers can be reached via Follow her on Twitter:@MARYMEYERSglobe

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