It was clear eight years later that the pain of losing loved ones is still evident and the commitment to never forget is stronger than ever.
On Friday night, there was patriotic music before the West Aurora High School football game. Players and fans stood while they applauded the fire department color guard.
"We lose over 200 firefighters a year in the line of duty. That day we lost 344 in the line of duty. That was a very sad day and day that we should all respect and remember," said Assistant Chief John Lehman, Aurora Fire Department.
The football players paid tribute by wearing a decal with the number 438. It represents the emergency workers who lost their lives on that fateful day.
"I thought it was beautiful. Very appropriate. And I think it sheds a light on 9/11 for our children," said Marcia Jackson, resident.
At Veterans Park in Skokie, there was an annual remembrance to honor the fallen emergency responders. This year years service included a memorial dedication to celebrate the life of Sgt. Kraig Foyteck, a Skokie resident who was killed in Iraq in October of 2006. Merchants in downtown Skokie raised the money for the tribute.
"Let us remember, sergeant and everything he gave if all of us in our community," said Mayor George Van Dusen, Skokie.
In Naperville with the backdrop of a memorial wall, a wreath was laid in honor of Commander Dan Shanower. He died in the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11. On Friday night, his family, friends and his hometown honored his service and sacrifice.
"Use this memorial that we have here to remember one of ours as well as all of them that perished," said Mayor George Pradel, Naperville.
Naperville is one of the first cities to dedicate a memorial to those that died in the attacks on September 11th. At the center of the memorial is a sculpture that integrates 100 pounds of rubble from a damaged portion of the Pentagon, a beam from the World Trade Center and granite from the Pennsylvania crash site.