ST. LOUIS ( -- Nearly 3,000 people died after terrorists coordinated four attacks in New York, D.C. and Pennsylvania.

Thousands more were hurt.

Wednesday people in the St. Louis area are doing their part to honor 9/11 victims.

For 18 years, Bo Drochelman has used his feet to pay tribute to the victims of the September 11th attacks.

"I was overcome with pain from the attack on 9/11. It took me about a year to figure out what i was going to do,” he said. “Then I picked the flag off the front of my house, about three in the afternoon, and walked down to the Arch by myself. I knew what I had to do had to involve some effort and possibly some pain."

Drochelman walked from his home in west St. Louis County down to the Gateway Arch on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Over nearly two decades, his march has grown substantially.

Drochelman said seeing the crowds increase every year renews his belief in the United States of America.

“When you see the people who honk at us, the people who walk in this, it's from every nationality, every age, every gender. This is the United States of America, and it warms my heart to see us all together,” he said.

In O’Fallon, Missouri, students from Hope High School distributed roses, and even served as masters of ceremonies for a September 11th ceremony.

Almost none of them, if any, were born when the attacks occurred.

Among the speakers was O'Fallon Police Chief Tim Clothier, who took a moment to remember the hundreds of first responders who died rushing in to aid those hurt and trapped after the attacks.

“They risked everything that day and nearly 400 of them made the ultimate sacrifice but for them it was what they were called to do," Clothier said.

Wednesday's ceremony was held at O'Fallon's memorial to first responders.

A memorial was created from 22 tons of steel from the collapsed World Trade Center towers.

In Belleville people gathered at the Firehouse Number 4 administration building Wednesday morning.

They also stopped by a 9-11 memorial, featuring a steel beam is from the Twin Towers.

The beam weighs around 7,000 pounds.

It's the largest artifact from Ground Zero in Illinois.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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