Boy Scout Troops 400, 487 and 499 gathered at National Oak Park on the 18th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks to honor Alvin’s veterans, active service members and first responders in a flag retirement ceremony.

The ceremony was rained out last year, so the number of flags to burn was double the usual amount, requiring that some flags be taken back to be burned in a private ceremony.

The ever-progressing passage of time means that most of the Scouts were not alive when the national tragedy struck 18 years ago. Sixteen-year-old Trevor Mireles, senior patrol leader for Troop 400, explained how members of the post 9/11 generation who are now old enough to understand the enormity of the event view that day and what the annual ceremony means to them.

Mireles said he thinks of the annual event as a way to help those who lived through 9/11, who still form the majority of Americans.

“Fortunately I have been in an era where I did not have to see that, but the tragedy seemed to, as I’ve discussed in school today, it brought a lot of people together but it also tore a lot of people apart and I think that’s why people — that’s why we do things like this to help people and to make people realize what we had before because we were at peace for a little bit, kind of. Because everybody — single — everybody, and I mean everybody was in tragedy over what happened in 9/11,” Mireles said.

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