Chicago area residents gather to remember 9/11

Across Illinois and the US on Friday, people gathered to remember 9/11.

A remembrance ceremony was held in between football games at Fenton High School in Bensenville, IL.

The students playing on the field were not alive when the terror attacks happened, but on Friday night they heard from those who vividly recall that day.

"We were minutes away from being in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Yantis.

Yantis was serving in the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001.

"A bunch of bad men got together and did a horrific attack that was unprecedented. It was brutal. And it killed a lot of people. And in that chaos, there were a lot of people who stepped up," said Yantis. "Stepped up and did the right thing."


On Friday night, he was one of a number of retired and active military members and first responders honored for their service during Fenton High School's annual September 11th Remembrance Program.

"There was once a time in our country when we stood together as one," said Fenton High School Football Coach Matthew Lynch. "We hope that this is one of those moments."

Jean Harris lost her son, Joshua, while he was serving in Afghanistan in 2008.  She says what keeps her going is pride.

"I'm standing here today because of that," said Harris. "Because of his freedom. Because he wanted to sacrifice and give something back to the country."

On behalf of the Chicago Bears, two retired players presented a $5.000 check to the 9/11 Remembrance Fund benefitting Wood Dale and Bensenville police and fire departments.

Yantis asks everyone to do something positive on September 11th in honor of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

"Focus on the good people." Yantis said. "Not the bad ones."