ST. CLOUD -- It's been 18 years since history's largest coordinated terrorist attack on American soil, ending the lives of nearly 3,000 people.

On Wednesday, St. Cloud officials, public safety officers, servicemen and women and community members gathered at the steps of the St. Cloud Police Department to remember and honor those who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

St. Cloud mayor and master of ceremonies Dave Kleis says the annual "A Day To Remember" event is an opportunity to bring people together to share thoughts, feelings and personal memories.

"It's extremely important. Most people know exactly where they were. Most people understand how they felt that day. It's important for us to come together, even after 18 years."

The program included vocal performances and prayers delivered by individuals too young to personally remember the events of the day, Kleis pointed out.

"They were just babies or small children that can't grasp that tragedy, so it's important that we remember, and not forget the lives of those taken away so suddenly."

Kleis added, it's a valuable opportunity to continue recognizing those in uniform around central Minnesota and beyond.

"This is still a country that has those individuals who raise their hands and go into harm's way, so we need to remember their sacrifice. It's critical that we come together and never forget those who have lost their lives, and those who serve us."

The ceremony also included remarks by St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson, St. Cloud Fire Chief Dean Wrobble, several songs and prayers, a wreath ceremony, the playing of taps and a rifle salute led by MetroVets.