DAVENPORT, Iowa — More than twenty different groups gathered in downtown Rock Island for Modern Woodmen of America's Salute to Heroes march. The march marked the culmination of a series of events hosted by Modern Woodmen of America as part of the company's Be an Everyday Hero project.
"It took a long time for me to be able to talk about it," said Irene Rivera-English, a retired New York City police officer and a 9/11 first responder.
On Sunday, she was one of 200 people who participated in the 3 mile march from downtown Rock Island to Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport.
When the terrorist attack happened in New York, Rivera-English was at her home in Queens. Soon after, she was called into work. Rivera-English recalls the 9/11 terrorist attacks as very emotional for her.
"One thing, I have to say that when it happened, it was very sad, but people did come together, which was very nice to see everyone from all walks of life come together," said Rivera-English, who retired from the New York Police Department in 2004. Now she lives with her family in Kewanee, Illinois.
Modern Woodmen's Be an Everyday Hero project is to honor first responders of the 9/11 terrorist attacks as well as the first responders who continue to protect public safety today. Members of the military, police officers, firefighters, as well as other other community groups marched on the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11 for the Salute to Heroes march.
"That's what really got me is, all these people out there just sacrificing themselves and just translating that back here in our hometown, they might not have been down there at Ground Zero, they might not have been doing things in New York, but people across the country tried to do things to help out," said Julie Fuhr, Corporate Communications Director of Modern Woodmen of America.