Chillicothe veteran walks to remember 9/11 victims
CHILLICOTHE — As the heat rose Friday morning from the black pavement on North Bridge Street, one man carried a jug of water and an American flag over his shoulder.
He wasn’t there to protest or to panhandle. Instead, U.S. Air Force veteran Isaac Gray’s journey to one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares was remind passers-by of the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“I love this country,” said Gray, adding that is what inspired him to begin the annual pilgrimage when he returned home last year after three years of active service.
Gray said he asked his family and friends what was being done to remember the people who lost their lives in the attack and felt he needed to do something himself.
“Years ago, we lost so many people, and we are still fighting the war today. So many people lost their lives for no reason. So many who were trying to save lives lost their lives,” he said.
As Gray spoke, a veteran who works at the Veterans Affairs’ office in Chillicothe approached him to thank him for his service and for going out to show the community the victims of 9/11 have not been forgotten.
Gray said others approached him during his walk to offer him money, to ask for prayers or to salute him.
“I don’t want them acknowledging me, I want them acknowledging what I represent today,” he said.
He said he hopes people who see him will be inspired to do something to remember those lost 14 years ago today as well.
“I know there are others out there doing something like this too,” he said. “I hope it continues.”