South Florida honors 9/11 victims with memorial events on anniversary

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - It’s been 18 years since nearly 3,000 people lost their lives during the September 11 attacks, and South Florida is coming out to pay their respects at various events being held on the anniversary.

The City of Margate held their annual Patriot Day ceremony to commemorate the fallen firefighters and police officers.

City of Miami officials gathered at 8 a.m. in front of the Miami City Hall building to remember and honor the victims. City of Miami Police and Fire Rescue personnel attended the ceremony.

“Today is a day that we will not forget, and that we must never forget,” Mayor Francis Suarez said.

Over in Miami Beach, members of the fire department lowered their flags to half staff and held a ceremony to pay their respects in front of their fire stations at 8:46 a.m. to mark the exact time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

“I think the one big takeaway is that this was a horrific event that really knocked our country to our knees,” Miami Beach Fire Rescue Chief Virgil Fernandez said.

Children from the Hebrew Academy of Greater Miami brought cards and gifts for the firefighters, according to a press release.

The Miami-Dade Police and Fire Department held a ceremony at 9:30 a.m. at Tropical Park.

“It is also a time that we remember the courage, the bravery and the sacrifices that occurred after 9/11 and that continue to occur today,” Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said.

Students of South Miami Senior High”s Junior ROTC program held a ceremony in the school’s gym at 8 a.m.

“I feel like I want to bring their remembrance, so they don’t forget what happened that day,” student Yanet Yanez said.

In Fort Lauderdale, bagpipes played in a touching tribute at the Fire and Safety Museum.

“Let’s also remember the survivors of this tragedy,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said. “Almost two decades later, it is still difficult to imagine the depth of their pain and their suffering.”

In Hialeah, the honor guard raised the American flag and rang a ceremonial bell.

At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the Police Pipe and Drum Corps. performed at the aviation department’s commemoration, making sure that no one is forgotten.

“Not the people on the airplanes, not the people in the buildings and certainly not the first responders,” FLL CEO Mark Gale said.

Thirteen of the newest cadets that went through the Fire Department of New York’s training program lost their fathers in 2001.

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