TULSA, Okla — It was a solemn day in America, as the country remembered the thousands of lives lost in the September 11th attacks.
Today marks 20 years since the tragedy that changed America forever.
"We saw the firefighters we saw the police officers rushing in to save others and it challenged a lot of folks in the area and a lot of people I work with every day to do something better, a lot of us joined the fire department, or the police department, the military, worked on an ambulance all because of that, we wanted to do something better for the community and the citizens that we live around and now we’re able to provide services to the citizens that we live around, now we’re able to provide services for them,” Allen Hancock with the Tulsa Fire Department said.
Among the lives being remembered are those of first responders. Many of them ran into the World Trade Center as people were running out.
“It’s a very somber day, many of us come into this career maybe inspired by the events of September," Hancock said.
That day 343 firefighters and 71 law enforcement officers gave their lives to save the lives of others.
"Firefighters and police officers that went to work, spent the last evening with their families rushed into those buildings and didn’t return so we try to do everything we can every year to remind the community of that event," Andrew Little, public information officer for Tulsa Fire Department said.
To honor their service and sacrifice, more than 150 first responders from Oklahoma and surrounding states walked up the ONEGas Building in downtown Tulsa three times to total 110 floors, the height of the Twin Towers.
“9/11 played a major role in why I chose to do what I do. It’s actually why I joined the army, after the army I used my GI bill to get my EMT and get hired as a Tulsa Firefighter so it definitely affected my life and the lives of so many others," Matt Lay, president of Tulsa Firefighter said.
Citizens of Bixby also attended an event at The World Trade Center Memorial in the Washington Irving Park to honor those who lost their lives.
This year, the Friends of Irving Foundation is also building memorials for those who lost their lives at the Pentagon attack on September 11th.
“People need to remember, need to be told about it,” Walter Gund, president of the Irving Foundation said.
FC Tulsa hosted the First Responders Night at OneOK Field, where the Tulsa Police Department and the Tulsa Fire Department faced each other off for the First Responders Cup.
They wanted to honor those men and women who put their lives on the line everyday for our community. The First Responders Cup was a way to celebrate some friendly competition on the field.
“Training for this is a lot different than what we train for usually, we don’t usually run to fires, we drive fire trucks, so we’ll just deal with it,” Mike Rodriguez said.
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