CHICO, Calif. - The Chico Fire Department is inviting members of the public as well as public safety agencies to attend their Sept. 11, 2001 memorial today at 12:15 p.m
It's been 18 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Nearly 3,000 people died when hijackers took control of four commercial airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center buildings, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
There will be a guest speaker, Marie Mitchell, whose brother, Lt. Paul Mitchell, died during the collapse of the South Tower.
This morning, Chico Fire Department hosted a memorial service at 7 a.m. with the lowering of the flag to half-staff followed by a minute of silence.
Action News Now Amy Lanski shared the story of one fire captain who made the trip to Manhattan to support the remaining crew from one station.
The Chico Fire Department remembers 9/11 every day, in fact, they even have a piece of the twin towers at Station 5 year-round.
A group of Chico Firefighters went above and beyond to help those in New York after the attacks, now, he said things will never be the same.
"This day is important to remember because everything changed that day," Chico Fire Captain, Dave Main said.
It was a time Main said he will never forget.
"A six-story pile of steel, debris, and smoke coming out. Every day they were recovering bodies," Main said.
He was at ground zero just four weeks after the attack.
"They are being cremated as we watch, they are still burning," Main said. "Then you realize this whole site is a cemetery basically, and people are still coming by to see if they have been recovered," Main said. "They will whistle if they find a body and everybody will stop and they will remove it with dignity and then they will start the process again."
Main said they quickly learned the New York Fire Department needed help with funerals.
"Normally at a Fire Department funeral there would be thousands of people and every day they were doing two or three so they needed that representation," Main said.
Main said it's more important now than ever to, never forget.
"Take some time to think about the people who put themselves behind other people, who came in there knowing," Main said. "If you look at the faces of the firefighters you know they knew this was bad. This was going to be a tough call and yet they still went in.