About 100 people gathered at the west end of the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge Sunday morning, Sept. 11, to honor the memories of those who died as a result of the terrorist attacks on America 10 years ago.

The eight annual remembrance walk is a local tradition that was launched through the efforts of Ray Hall, a 45-year member of the Belfast Lions Club. This year’s event brought out people of all ages — many of whom carried an American flag, or wore red white and blue for the duration of the memorial march.

Hall said the idea to start the memorial walk came as a result of his spending winters in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., and attending Lions Club meetings there. George O’Neill, a past district governor for the South Carolina organization, is the man who came up with the idea to hold an annual event in his community. O’Neill passed the idea on to his fellow Lions like Hall, who took the idea and ran with it.

Just before the walk began at 8:46 a.m., Hall estimated that there were about 96 people in attendance — and more people continued to join the procession as the morning went on. Belfast VFW Commander Steve Brown commented that it was the best turnout he’d ever seen for the event.

Hall said he wasn’t sure what kind of crowd the walk would draw for the tenth anniversary, and that he was pleased to see so many people had come with their families to remember those who died Sept. 11, 2001.

“I was hoping we’d get a lot of people out today, but I didn’t really know,” said Hall, a comment he made while waving at the passers-by who honked their horns or waved to indicate support for the group.

Hall still remembers what was going through his mind as he watched live coverage of the first plane striking the World Trade Center. After the first plane hit, Hall said he was like many other folks who thought the crash was a horrible accident. Then he saw the second plane approaching the towers.

“I thought it must be flying in to take a closer look,” said Hall.

Once he discovered the plane crashes were the result of terrorist activities, Hall said he was in a state of disbelief.

“I just couldn’t believe that people could hate us so much,” he said.

Members of the Randall-Collins Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3108, the AmVets Post 6829 and the American Legion Post 43 came decked out the uniforms of their respective organizations, and members of Belfast and Waldo fire departments, Waldo County Search and Rescue, the Belfast Police Department were among those who participated in the walk. Belfast Mayor Walter Ash also participated.

American Legion Post 30 Commander Ronald Rainfrette of Camden brought a framed set of patches that honored fallen members of the New York Police and Fire departments and the Port Authority Police. Rainfrette said there is only one other like it in Maine, and that he would be bringing the memorial collage to a ceremony in Rockland later in the day.

Rainfrette said it’s important to take pause and remember the victims of Sept. 11 each year, and especially on the tenth anniversary of the attacks. Aside from the roughly 3,000 Americans who lost their lives on that day, Rainfrette said, there were more lost and damaged lives left in the wake of the attacks.

Rainfrette said a friend of his who worked at the Pentagon lost 10 of his best friends that day, and that he still feels the pain of losing people who were close to him. Even a decade later, Rainfrette said, his friend still struggles with the memories of that day and often misses out on the annual remembrance ceremonies.

“It’s too hard for him to attend,” Rainfrette said.

Rainfrette also noted hundreds of firefighters and first responders are now dealing with diseases that are related to their work at Ground Zero.

AmVets Commander Tim Parker brought along his eight-year-old son, Daniel. Both father and son wore items that once belonged to the late Willie Lisa, a former chaplain with the American Legion who holds a special place in each of their hearts. Tim Parker wore a set of pins on his hat that once belonged to Lisa, and Daniel Parker wore a red white and blue baseball cap, which his dad said was given to him by Lisa’s widow, Rowena. The Parkers wear the items to the remembrance walk every year as a way to keep Lisa’s memory alive.

Tim Parker said he and his fellow AmVets have been honored to be a part of the remembrance walk.

“We really appreciate the Lions Club for getting this thing started,” he said.

Participants continuously walked back and forth across the span until 10:05 a.m., to mark the time when the last plane crashed in Pennsylvania.

As the walk came to an end, participants said their good-byes and scattered to locate their vehicles. Some of those departing seemed to have already decided that they would return to observe the 11th anniversary of the attacks, as several folks could be heard telling one another, “See you next year.”