ONEIDA, Tenn. (WATE) — Across the country, people are honoring those who were killed in the terrorist attacks in New York City 21 years ago. In East Tennessee, one man showed his own way of honoring those who lost their lives.

Trinity Smith, of Oneida, spent his Sunday running and walking the streets of his hometown. 

“This is just my way I show my love towards those that lost their family, friends,” Smith said. “The support has been unreal.”

Smith decided 20 years ago that he was going to spend the entire day of Sept. 11 running through his hometown for those killed in the twin towers terrorist attack in 2001.

“Today we continuously have the American flag moving up and down what we call ‘the four-lane,’ and it lasts about 13 hours,” he said. “It’s sad. When anyone loses a loved one, you know, on that day there were a lot of people that lost their loved ones and it just something I felt like I needed to do, you know.”

It started out with just him and an American flag.

“I started it in 2003, but thankfully everyone got involved in 2005 and it’s grown into something that I never could imagine.”

One after another people began to join him, bringing their own flags or taking turns carrying his.

Shelby Yancey was one of the people who came out to run with Smith. 

“I ran cross country at Oneida High School, and every year they used to have it during the week, and we would come up here and the whole team would run with him,” she said.

Smith doesn’t have any ties to those who were lost on Sept. 11. He’s not even a first responder. In fact, he borrows firefighter gear every year to run in.

“I’m just a normal guy but people recognize me from years and years of putting one foot in front of the other,” Smith said.

“Some people might forget what today is and when they see us run by that makes them think and remember,” Yancey added.

Mile after mile, from beginning to end, and with his flag in hand, Smith said, “When I carry it, it’s like my way of showing we ain’t forgotten, we love you all and that’s just kind of my way of doing it.”

Every year, on Smith’s last few miles, thousands including first responders, line the streets to support him and honor the day.

Smith hopes more and more people will continue to join him on his run year after year.