A member of the Auburn Fire Department tends to the Sept. 11 memorial in Auburn in 2013.

The Citizen file

On the south lawn of Auburn's Memorial City Hall property sits one of the many monuments that can be found downtown.

It has a pentagon-shaped stone, made with granite that came from Pennsylvania, and next to that piece is a portion of a steel beam that was once part of a skyscraper in lower Manhattan.

In the day-to-day bustle of life, it's easy to not notice this tribute to the thousands of people killed on one of the darkest days in American history.

We hope that's not the case on Monday, the 16th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Auburn's monument recognizes all of the sites where the terrorists crashed commercial airlines that day and took so many innocent lives. The stone shape honors victims at the Pentagon in Washington. The granite comes from an area near the rural Pennsylvania site where one of the four planes crashed after a group of brave passengers thwarted hijackers planning to target a more high-profile location. And the beam comes from one of the World Trade Center towers that fell on 9/11.

Across the country, Sept. 11 is now observed as Patriot Day, and that includes Auburn and Cayuga County. There may not be a large public event in Auburn for the 16th anniversary, but that doesn't mean we can't pause to reflect and pay tribute.

Auburn's Old Wheeler bell atop city hall will toll at six precise times on Monday morning to mark the moments when the four planes crashed and the towers fell. The south lawn monument, as it is every day, will be open to the public.

In addition to being Patriot Day, Monday is also a "National Day of Service and Remembrance." One of the most powerful ways can honor 9/11 victims is through community service, something that was vital in pulling America through that horrible time 16 years ago.

This year's anniversary comes at an extremely chaotic time, with natural disasters, international upheaval and a poisoned domestic political climate.

We hope that taking a few moments to recall our recent past can help Americans reset and start to come together for a brighter future.

The Citizen Editorial Board includes publisher Rob Forcey, managing editor Mike Dowd and executive editor Jeremy Boyer.

The Citizen editorial board includes publisher Rob Forcey, executive editor Jeremy Boyer and managing editor Mike Dowd.