Fire department across the Tennessee Valley join to create 9/11 - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Fire department across the Tennessee Valley join to create 9/11 tribute

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CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WRCB)  --  It's been ten years since the United States was attacked.  The memories and horror of 9/11 are still fresh.

About 3,000 people were killed when two planes flew into the World Trade Center. 

Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and 40 more people died.  Another plane crashed into the Pentagon on that fateful day.

On the 10th anniversary hundreds gathered in downtown Chattanooga to remember those who perished.

Sunday afternoon fire departments all over the Tennessee Valley joined together to create a touching tribute.  It began with a procession down Market Street and ended at Riverfront Parkway. 

Some shed tears, some clapped while others stood in silence as the procession passed by.  Behind the fire engines police, dispatchers, firefighters, EMS etc ... lead a memorial march. 

"It was a great experience," says Rossville Volunteer Firefighter, Aaron Hale.  "I'm glad I got to do it.  It was a great honor to carry a gentleman's picture from station 25."

In the marchers hands are pictures of the men and women who died while trying to save others that fateful day in New York City.

"I worked in New York City," says Queens Native, George Camilleri.  The retired firefighter pulled out his 30 year old uniform to take part in the anniversary ceremony.     

"I'm very happy that the City of Chattanooga is doing this remembrance," he says. 

Camilleri had already retired to the Tennessee Valley when the planes struck the World Trade Center.  Like the rest of us, he remembers exactly where he was when he got the news.

"I knew right away that a lot of firemen were going to die," Camilleri says. 

Camilleri worked for the New York Fire Department for 20 years.  He describes September 11, 2001 as the saddest day of his life.

"I didn't know any of the people who died," he says.  "I knew many of their relatives."

Remembering is hard, but the men and women who marched in the procession believe it's important.  Not only to honor of those who died, but also to recognize the people who continue to risk their lives everyday.

"I'm proud to be an American, and to be a part of this event," says bystander, Carol Covert.  "I'm proud of the way we stood up to our enemies." 

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