SUNBURY, Ohio — The country stood still, yet united, on September 11, 2001.
It was a day that changed Theresa Mecionis’s life and family.
"It was just a scary time. On a day that was always sad anyway and when Joey died it added to it of course,” she said.
Her son Sgt. Joseph Collette died while fighting in Afghanistan in 2019.
One of his reasons for joining the military was the September 11th terrorist attacks.
"It means a lot that he's a hero, I mean, I smile these days more than I cry because I’m so proud of him,” said Mecionis.
To remember all those who lost their lives on that day and all the Ohioans that died answering the call for service, the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorials Ceremony gave people a chance to reflect.
“They answered our nation's call when others didn't, knowing the dangers that may lay ahead of them,” said Genoa Township Fire Chief Joe Ponzia.
"On a day like this when you don't really know what to do with yourself, it's just beautiful. So, it's beautiful and awful at the same time,” said Mecionis.
292 crosses lay in the ground in the field where the ceremony was held. They represent 292 Ohioans who died in the line of service. On a day that so many won't forget, Mecionis, has a different way of remembering.
"For some reason, I say always remember rather than never forget. And all of these beautiful people that have died, they'll never be forgotten,” she said.