By Christophe Morel, USAG Benelux Public AffairsSeptember 14, 2018
CHIÈVRES, Belgium -- Sept. 11, 2018 marked 17 years since the 9/11 terror attacks which shocked the world. It was a time for the USAG Benelux community to remember and honor all the victims and families. Nearly 3,000 men, women and children lost their lives.
In Chièvres, the 9/11 Patriot 5K Run/Walk started September 11 at 9:11 a.m. Dozens of family members participated in the event. Some runners brought their children, sometimes in a stroller.
Army Sgt. Zach Beauchamp, who works at the SHAPE Healthcare Facility, was there with his two daughters, Scarlet and Harlee.
"I like to run. I saw the race and for a good cause I just thought I'd come and do it," he said.
Beauchamp is used to run with his daughters with a stroller, but this run was not like any others. It was a moment of remembrance, recollection and contemplation. All the participants shared their efforts together for the same reason.
Seventeen years after the tragedy, Beauchamp remembers very well what he was doing that day. "I was in sixth grade, I was in recess and then we all had to come in from recess and our teacher told us what happened. I didn't understand what was going on," he said.
"That day I came home, turned on the news, and I was just terrified, very devastated," explained Air Force Staff Sgt. James Summers, another runner.
Summers first crossed the finish line in Chièvres, but of course it was not the goal of the event. "The most important thing today is to remember 9/11, all the lives involved and all the sacrifices we've done. [...] Just remember them (the victims), keep them in our hearts, minds, and they'll never be forgotten," Summers said. Community members ran in Chièvres, but also in Schinnen and Brussels.