Cicero (WSYR-TV) – 12 years after thousands of people lost their lives in the September 11th attacks, Central New Yorkers took time to remember the victims on Wednesday.
There were several ceremonies held throughout the day, including a tribute in the town of Cicero where firefighters held a moment of silence.
A small, but dedicated crew of first responders lined up to pay respects during a quiet moment on an otherwise stormy day.
Among them, the town's police chief.
"The first couple of years afterward it was hard to talk about it. But, now I think we're healed. We're past that point but, there are certain images you just don't forget," said Cicero Police Chief Joseph Snell.
Snell saw the devastation of September 11, 2001 first-hand, driving to ground zero the day after the attack to help with recovery efforts.
"Every building was gray. There was no color. Everything was black and white. The smoke, the stench, it was almost like you just walked into a war in a movie scene." Snell explained.
Years later, an annual tribute in Cicero offers peaceful reflection, led by the firefighter who was inspired to join the force as a thank you to the victims of 9/11.
"Running into a building, they had to know there was a good chance they weren't coming out, but they went in anyway and that is something we try to honor everyday here in Cicero," said Cicero Firefighter George Barrett.
Barrett waited two and a half years to get a piece of steel from the World Trade Center to display outside of the Cicero Fire Department. The memorial faces a main intersection in the town, serving as a daily reminder to drivers passing by the station.
A brick path below the steel beam bears the names of firefighters, police officers, and port authority employees who died during the attacks.
Many spots are empty, waiting for sponsors, a sign that remembering sacrifices is an ongoing effort.
If you'd like to help the Cicero Fire Department complete their memorial walkway, you can donate $30 to buy a brick inscribed with the name of a September 11th victim. Online orders can be placed at www.cicerofd.org