Eleven years later, the events of 9/11 still haunt first responders who lost their fellow brethren in one of the biggest attacks on the United States.
Now, every year on the same day, ceremonies are held across the country to pay tribute to the men and women who lost their lives. Among those ceremonies was the presentation at the B&W Pantex Plant Tuesday morning.
Firefighters, guards and employees gathered at the monument that was built as a reminder of that tragic day, and a piece of steel from the World Trade Center was then placed on the top of it.
â??I thought it was befitting,â?? Pantex Fire Department Battalion Chief Donavon Morgan stated, â??that a place that is so important in our security of the nation, that we would have a reminder- something as important as a piece of the World Trade Center.â??
After the World Trade Center was hit in 2001, Pantex was shut down. Non-essential employees were sent home and others remained at the plant around the clock. It remained closed for the next eight days. All employees could do was watch the events unfold on television, an experience many say was terrifying and heart-wrenching.
â??Later that day, after they had showed the towers had fallen and they were just showing the scene, you could still hear the PASS devices, the rescue devices of firefighters going off,â?? Pantex Fire Chief Mike Brock said. â??And that was hard to watch.â??
But Brock said the experience did not change the minds of the Pantex firefighters when it comes to what they do.
â??Thatâ??s just something thatâ??s in the heart of a firefighter, any first responder- police officers, firefighters. They want to be of service to their communities and thatâ??s just what we do.â??
â??We had a lot more honor and pride in what we do,â?? Morgan added. â??Just the normal everyday duties- you donâ??t think much of it. But when it comes to something as important as what happened on 9/11, it makes us realize that our jobs are very important and we need to understand that each and every day we need to be ready.â??
Spectators gave applause after â??America the Beautiful,â?? demonstrating the positive spirit so many Americans continue to carry with them.
Though it was emotional talking about the events of September 11, 2001, Brock pointed out it is important for that day to always be remembered.
â??My generation- we grew up hearing about Pearl Harbor. For the current generation, this is the same type of event. Itâ??s important that those events in our history never be forgotten.â??