D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Nearly 3,000 lives were lost on September 11th, 2001 when terrorists attacked America. Twelve years later those innocent lives are not forgotten. D'Iberville residents and first responders gathered Wednesday to remember.
"It's a tragedy," D'Iberville Fire Chief Gerald Smith said. "It happened in New York, but it is something that could ultimately happen anywhere. It could happen right here in our community."
On that day, 343 firefighters died rushing into the burning buildings trying to save lives. Even though that was more than 1,200 miles away D'Iberville firefighters say it hit home.
"It's the same thing as if you lost someone from your own department," Smith said.
"I consider them my brothers and sisters," D'Iberville firefighter Danny Miller said. "We are all here for the same goal, and I care about all of them whether I know them or not."
Norma Johnson got to know many of those directly affected by the tragedy. When most people were avoiding planes, she hopped on the first one into New York to volunteer with the Red Cross.
"It was chaos. People just wondering around, people didn't know what to say or do or where to go," Johnson recalled. "The smell was terrible and you could smell it everywhere. It smelled like burnt concrete."
She still gets tears in her eyes remembering. Johnson vows as long as she lives, she will help organize a ceremony and blood drive on September 11th.
"It's just something I'm doing from my heart," Johnson said, "because I want to show them that D'Iberville will never forget and I won't let them."