ARLINGTON, Va. — On the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, cities across the United States will hold America Supports You Freedom Walk, to honor veterans past and present.

The walks are organized by America Supports You, a Defense Department effort to support U.S. troops and their families.

Last year marked the first Freedom Walk in Washington, D.C., at which 13,000 people participated, including members of Congress and family members who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks.

The walk was not without controversy; protesters also showed.

This year’s walk in Washington is scheduled to begin Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. and is expected to take place from the National Mall to the crash site at the Pentagon and site of the future Pentagon Memorial.

Freedom Walks are being held in more than 50 locations this year, including Chicago; Yuma, Ariz.; and Grand Forks, N.D.

“In Sebring, Ohio, 9-year-old Colton Lockner is organizing a Freedom Walk for the town’s nearly 5,000 residents,” an America Supports You news release says.

“Operation Homefront, a San Antonio-based nonprofit dedicated to providing assistance to military families, is overseeing Freedom Walks in a number of cities nationwide, and Beacon of Hope, an Aurora, Colo.-based support program connecting civilians with members serving in the military, is planning a walk with tribute performances.”

These Freedom Walks will be organized and funded locally.

Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, is the architect behind America Supports You Freedom Walk.

Barber said many people who attended last year’s Freedom Walk were so moved by the experience that they decided they wanted to have their own Freedom Walk.

She said the Freedom Walk allows people to reflect on what is important for the United States.

“The significance of the Freedom Walk is that it gives our country an opportunity to remember those who lost their lives on 9/11 and also our veterans past and present,” she said.

Those interested in participating, or in setting up a local Freedom Walk, can get more information at:

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