SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Savannah Fire Department honored 343 of their fellow firefighters who died in the line of duty on September 11, 2001.
Firefighters received six radio announcements on Saturday morning at the exact time of the attack on the Pentagon, the plane crashes into the North and South towers, the collapse of the South Tower, and when United Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The final announcement came through at 10:28 a.m. – the exact moment the North Tower collapsed 20 years ago – and firefighters took a moment of silence. The moment brought back memories for Battalion Chief Steven Frazier.
“The day after 9/11 I had my interview for this job,” he said. “This brings back memories because I remember hearing everything that was going on the day of 9/11. It made me want to be a firefighter even more and I’m glad I chose this career field.”
Twenty years later, Frazier’s purpose feels stronger than ever.
“Every year, the 20 years, on September 11th you get choked up because of what happened,” he said. “Because of the fallen and their families. Nothing changes, it just gets more and more honor to be a firefighter.”
Onlookers joined the 13 firefighters outside the historic headquarters, watching as an American flag was raised atop an aerial fire truck.
Bill Sterrett from Whitemarsh Island can recall exactly where he was twenty years ago.
“I was at work, I was in my office,” Bill said. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on TV and then it just got worse and worse.”
Bill is from a military family – his father, brother, brother-in-law and two sons all served. The 20th anniversary feels different for him, after the Taliban takeover and the U.S. departure from Afghanistan.
“I think about the guys who served over there – particularly in Afghanistan,” he said. “I just won’t want them to think that their service was for nothing based on how we got out of Afghanistan.”
While honoring the fallen, Frazier said one memory from this day twenty years ago stands above the rest.
“Togetherness,” he said. “I saw the nation come together as one that day. That’s the best memory I have of that day – was everybody came together as one.”