(KMSP) - Monday was a day to honor those killed on Sept. 11, 2001, with members of the color guard from several military branches and law enforcement agencies walking in single file carrying their flags proudly toward the Lake Harriet Bandshell.
"We're putting remembrance of what happened that day," said 10-year-old Ariel Villa.
Villa said she just learned about the September 11 attacks during school today.
Her father serves in the Marine Corps Color Guard and brought his daughter along to learn why Americans gather every year to remember.
"We can't forget, we can't just let it stop with us. So when they get older, they talk about it with their families. It's part of history," Samuel Villa said.
The Minnesota 9/11 Tribute Orchestra and Choir are all volunteers. They've been playing under the Lake Harriett Bandshell since 2002, honoring all those who died and those killed serving our country.
Weighing heavily on people's minds Monday was the tragic death of Wayzata police officer William Mathews. Part of the tribute was dedicated to Mathews, who was fatally struck by a vehicle on Friday.
"It's always a tragic loss for us and a personal gut check for me, how we do our business everyday, and it's an incredible reminder of how important it is to pay attention," said Craig Isaacson with the Minnesota State Patrol.
John and Vicki Nyambane try to take a moment each year to reflect on how this nation changed 16 years ago, when they were still living in Kenya. Now, they’ve been proud American citizens for more than a decade.
“I just want to pay tribute to those who lost their lives,” Vicki said.
“Sixteen years ago, and it feels like it just happened yesterday,” John added.