Coon Rapids continues annual 9/11 remembrance tradition on Main Street bridge

The Coon Rapids Fire Department hosts a 9/11 remembrance on the Main Street bridge. (Credit: Coon Rapids Fire Dept.) ( Coon Rapids Fire Dept. )

On the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the Coon Rapids Fire Department honored the lives of the fallen.

Wednesday morning, several community members joined the fire department in hoisting American flags at the Main Street bridge and Highway 10 to remember the lives lost on 9/11.

It's a different kind of memorial that has become a tradition in Coon Rapids that started 11 years ago. 

The man who put it all together is Dan Hanson, who takes pride in the fact that ordinary people often come out to honor first responders and veterans in the community. 

The Coon Rapids Fire Department hosts a 9/11 remembrance on the Main Street bridge. (Credit: Coon Rapids Fire Dept.)

"They say that Sept. 11 is something we'll always remember," he said. "It's something we never should forget." 

On a day when flags were ordered by Gov. Tim Walz to fly low, in Coon Rapids, they hold them high. 

"With what the firefighters and what the police did, it's a good way to remember our first respodners and remember those that we lost on 9/11," Hanson said. 

The Coon Rapids Fire Department hosts a 9/11 remembrance on the Main Street bridge. (Credit: Coon Rapids Fire Dept.)

The annual Main Street Bridge gather has become a rallying cry after 11 years of the tradition. Hanson started the celebration after he felt people were forgetting about the incident that occured 18 years ago. 

"People come up here and hang out with veterans who come out on the bridge and the Patriot Guard and firefighters and it's just very, very humbling," Hanson said. 

Kory Beck is a Coon Rapids firefighter who brought his kids to simply wave a flag at passing cars. 

"I want them to see the community coming together for such an amazing purpose," Beck said. "For such an amazing cause. To see the patriotism and to see a country that supports what our country stands for: freedom." 

The Coon Rapids Fire Department hosts a 9/11 remembrance on the Main Street bridge. (Credit: Coon Rapids Fire Dept.)

For many, the images of 9/11 are still real and raw. For Alex Ryberg, however, he was only 7 years old when the Twin Towers were attacked. 

"But I also remember my mom calling her friend and saying, 'Quick, turn on the channel,' and her response was, 'What channel?' and she said, 'Any channel,'" Ryberg recalled. 

Those images are still in many minds on anniversaries like today and Coon Rapids is making sure people are always remembering and honoring. 

"We got great police, we've got great fire. I mean, I love this city, so we've got a great community here," Hanson said. "A lot of support up here in Coon Rapids." 

The Fire Department also memorializes the tragedy with a small section of the World Trade Center that resides at Fire Station 1 on Egret Boulevard.

People will be out on the Main Street Bridge until sundown Wednesday, when they lower the giant falg suspended by the ladder trucks from Coon Rapids and Ramsey Fire Departments. 

Sgt. Smith, from the U.S. Army Recruiting Station, will lead the ceremonies. 

Coon Rapids 9/11 memorial at the fire station