BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - It is a day America will never forget, September 11, a day terrorists made an attack on our soil killing thousands of innocent Americans.
Hancock County firemen, police officers, officials and residents gathered Sunday morning to remember.
Waveland Fire Chief Mike Smith gave an emotional testimony describing how he felt.
"That day for me was one of my darkest, most memorable days for me and I'm sure it was for you also," Smith said.
The ceremony was also to honor those lost.
"Some where scheduled to be married in the next month or two, so many had young children, children that had not been born yet. It is sad, they have missed a lot," Sheriff Steve Garber said.
For one of the attendees, Lieutenant Mark Zitterkopf with the Bay St. Louis Fire Department, September 11 really hits home.
"Two departments in New York adopted us and I got to go up there. While there I went to the family room on the 911 site and that was gut wrenching," Zitterkopf explained.
And he said the time spent with victims' families is one memory that will never become less painful.
Chocked up Zitterkopf said, "I think about the guys I know up there and seeing the hurt in that room."
He said the only way to describe it is through the emotions on his tear filled face.
"Seventy-two police officers lost their lives 343 firefighters," Garber reminded. "And you think all these police officers, firefighters everyone is rushing to get out, we had been attacked, and they were rushing back in."
"A lot of people look at firefighters as exceptional but for us that is what we do, we love it," Smith said.