COCONUT GROVE, FLA. (WSVN) - - From tearful tributes to somber ceremonies, South Floridians remembered the thousands of lives lost on the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11.
Saturday marks 20 years since the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
From Deerfield Beach to Coral Gables, Miami, Hialeah, Miami Beach and Tropical Park in Southwest Miami-Dade, first responders, city leaders and the community stood side by side and honored the men and women who never made it back home.
“For my colleagues who lost their lives, I’ll never forget them,” said a speaker.
“Thank you for your service and sacrifice, and your family’s sacrifice,” said another speaker. “We’re the fortunate ones. We’re here today.”
Other tributes took to the sky. Air & Sea Show attendees in Fort Lauderdale also paid their respects.
Memorial services began across South Florida as early as Friday.
“Tower One was struck at 8:46 a.m. American Airlines flight 11, 92 people lost,” said Western High School principal Jimmy Arrojo. “Tower Two struck at 9:02 a.m. United Airlines flight 175, 65 people lost.”
The Davie high school, 20 years later, held true to their annual tradition with a replica of the Twin Towers built by students two decades ago.
“This memorial features representations of the Twin Towers that is placed inside, an outer wall shaped like the Pentagon, and the flag pole actually rests on a relief outline of the state of Pennsylvania in the center, representing the three areas that day,” Arrojo said.
At Miami Dade College, there was also a memorial to honor victims and heroes.
At St. Kevin Catholic School, eighth graders who were not yet born on that day wanted to celebrate the lives lost in the tragedy.
Islamic leaders also gathered and prayed for the lives lost on 9/11.
“One element that has lasting impact is that it serves for us to realize that we need to get out, we need to be more aware, we need to be more involved in the greater community,” one man said.
The ceremony, held at City Hall on Saturday, was used as an effort to teach those who were not yet born or too young to remember about the events of that day.
In New York City, a service was held at ground zero. There was a moment of silence at 8:45 a.m. to mark when the towers were hit.
As the entire country continues to reflect on what happened 20 years ago, it’s the one who live with it every single day who ask that we never forget.
“We survived that, and we’ll never forget it, and we’d do it again, and we’d run right in there again,” said a first responder.
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