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IOWA  —  17 years ago the world was changed forever when four hijacked planes crashed on September 11th, 2001, taking 2,977 innocent lives.

On Tuesday the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks was marked across the nation and across our state.

In lieu of a 21 gun salute, a group of Iowans instead carried out a 21 mile salute, marching across the metro to the State Capitol, visiting fire stations along the way.  The ‘March to the Capitol’ began Tuesday morning at a Waukee fire station.  More than a dozen Iowans set out on foot on a trek to the State Capitol, visiting seven fire stations along the way.

“The significance of this gesture is to remind those who are young, who to them this is just history, who were born after september 11th, 2001,” says march organizer Brandon Glenn, “This is in remembrance of the solemnity of what happened.  and to keep their memories alive and to support the families who have moved on from that tragedy.”

At Camp Dodge the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s basic academy class completed a special workout in honor of the emergency personnel and civilians lost on September 11th.  Each recruit made 22 trips up and down five flights of stairs wearing a 20 lb vest for a total of 110 flights of stairs.  That represented the 110 floors of the World Trade Centers.

The Ankeny Fire Department held a remembrance ceremony as well today.  A massive American flag was raised and a moment of silence was held.  Fire Chief Jim Clack says he may not have been in New York that day but the events still weigh heavy on his heart.

“I think every year about the same thing and that`s the 343 firefighters that lost their lives in New York City and at the Pentagon,” Clack says, “It`s tough on me and everybody in the profession of public safety to remember that day. We just pray it never happens again.’