Remembering to serve on 9/11

Volunteers helped assemble 1,000 military care packages for troops overseas on Tuesday to mark the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

More than 3,000 people gave their lives in the attacks on 9/11 and thousands more made the ultimate sacrifice in the military actions following the event.

Tuesday, in an effort to honor those people who died because of the terrorist’s attacks, scores of people gathered at the Rose Kennedy Greenway and gave a little bit of their time on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

“On a day like today you have to contribute for all the people lost 11 years ago and people continuing to serve to help protect us. This is a good way to commit our time,” said Kaela Gallo, 22, of Boston.

Gallo, who serves with AmeriCorps, was one of the scores of people who stood in line and helped assemble 1,000 care packages that will be sent to active duty service members stationed around the world.

The service project was organized by the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund. The packages contain essentials like socks, baby wipes and snacks. The packages also include non-essentials like wristbands and Boston Bruins Stanley Cup souvenir pucks and the more meaningful handwritten letters.

“This is known as a depressing day, so I wanted to pay my respects,” said Joden Agenor, 17, of Malden, as he sat on a bench on the Greenway writing a letter to a solider who will receive the package he helped assemble. “It’s an honor and a privilege to do this.”

The message of his letter was simple.

“To say thank you for everything,” he said.

Carlos Arredondo, poured gasoline on himself and caught fire in 2004 after Marine personnel told him his 20-year-old son had been killed in Iraq, helped pick up discarded items as a volunteer at Tuesday’s service event.

“For myself, being here, it’s an honor. It’s a way to honor my son,” said Arredondo, who lost his other son last year to suicide. “I’ve been seeing people make a difference today. I’m very glad people are doing it.”


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