TAUNTON (CBS) – Taunton senior Ana Rodrigues looked at photos Friday morning, showing how the 17-year-old spent September 11 over the last four years.

“We have this wonderful really moving day of service,” Rodrigues said. “We used to get that close to each other? We all used to line up on that pathway and give each other hugs? This year was definitely very different.”

Their annual service project on the Rose Kennedy Greenway was not safely possible right now, still young leaders from across Massachusetts wouldn’t miss an opportunity to remember and honor all that was taken 19 years ago.

“People were able to create tributes, very meaningful tributes to 9/11 in their own ways in their own towns,” she explained.

Project 351 volunteers completed more than 400 acts of service across the Commonwealth. Many designed tribute stones honoring local 9/11 victims or fallen heroes. A small gesture of remembrance for families like the Gays, who lost Peter in the attacks.

“That’s when it’s a really heavy emotional experience. To really think about the love and the kindness this person put into the world when they were around,” Rodrigues added.

Many Project 351 participants weren’t alive 19 years ago. But in a divisive time for our country, during a global pandemic, these united acts of good give them hope.

“For me, knowing as a country after 9/11 we were able to band together and patch up those wounds, gives me faith we’ll be able to do it again,” Rodrigues said.


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