As people all across the country are remembering the September 11th attacks on what is now the 18th anniversary, here at home first responders paused for a moment of silence to remember the thousands of people who lost their lives on that tragic day.
Right now -- the flag is lowered at half staff outside of the Huntsville Police West Precinct and Huntsville Fire Station One.
Wednesday morning Huntsville Fire and Police, and HEMSI all gathered at the flag pole for a moment of silence and at 7:46 a.m. exactly the time that first plane hit the World Trade Center --they turned on the lights and sirens on all of vehicles to remember all of the first responders who bravely ran toward danger.
"When I came into duty the first plane had just hit the first tower and I stood there with the captain I was relieving for the day and the second plane hit," said Chief of Huntsville Fire and Rescue Mac McFarland.
Chief Mac McFarland remembers the September 11th attacks clear as day -- and that's why he came up with the idea to have a ceremony every year to remember those who lost their lives.
"That day in New York you could hear nothing but sirens of all responding units," said McFarland.
And it's a day that has forever touched the lives of first responders and civilians across the country.
Captain Mike Izzo with the Huntsville Police Department is from New York and even used to work for the New York Police Department. Izzo was a sergeant here in Huntsville when the attacks happened -- but his mom still lived in New York and called him before the first tower came down.
"When your mother is on the phone telling you, you know, 'we're under attack, I don't know what's going on but the towers are going to go down," said Huntsville Police Criminal Investigation Division Captain Mike Izzo.
Izzo lost friends who worked for both NYPD and the New York Fire Department when they responded to those attacks that day.
And 18 years later -- there are firefighters still dying from responding to the world trade center which is why all first responders we talked to said it's important to never forget 9/11.
"They're still passing away because of diseases that they contracted going to this event so the effects of 9-11 are still with all of us when we see these people die and the diseases that they're having to face," said Chief Mark McMurray with Huntsville Police.
Mayor Tommy Battle was also at the ceremony this morning.