CHESAPEAKE, Va. - It was 15 years ago today that this group of Chesapeake first responders packed up their gear and headed to New York.
"Being in the fire service, police, military, there`s a brotherhood,” Firefighter Specialist Curtis Nealy said.
After seeing images of debris and smoke fill the city, they knew they had to take action.
“I remember the night I went up there and what I saw - the destruction,” firefighter Boyd Hogan said. “A lot of lives were lost. Not just in the fire department. The police department. It was civilian lives as well.'
Lives that were honored and remembered earlier today in Chesapeake.
The city held their annual “9/11 Day of Remembrance” ceremony.
'It still causes great pain in my heart, every time I think of it,” Paula Slagle, who attends the ceremony each year said.
First responders at the ceremony tell News 3 these ceremonies are important because they acknowledge how important it is to win the war against terrorism.
'We`re acceptable to terrorist attacks. We`re not this little safe zone anymore. As Americans, we need to come together to provide for our country,” Hogan said.
Now that 15 years have gone by --- many of the firefighters tell me they still don`t like talking about the devastation they saw.
But there was one important highlight they want everyone to remember.
"The humanity was out there. Regardless of who you were and that was, I think, the most important thing,” Hogan said.