CLEARWATER (FOX 13) - Firefighters stood shoulder-to-shoulder on Friday morning outside Fire Station 45, honoring the 343 firefighters who perished on September 11, 2001.
"It's a remembrance. Remembering all the firefighters and public safety workers that died and all the people that died at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania," said Clearwater Fire Chief Robert Weiss.
A radio called echoed through the crowd outside the fire station, leading into a moment of silence. A special ceremony was held at each fire station throughout the city.
Both firefighters and members of the public came out to show their respect.
"A lot of people I knew, a lot of my friends and so forth, actually went up to ground zero and helped in the volunteer efforts to find people, so it definitely was a heart-wrenching day," said Theresa Rodeghero, who came representing Clearwater Family Dental.
She brought her young children to the ceremony as well, hoping to teach them why firefighters are given the title of 'heroes.'
"I wanted to make sure that my kids understand why on a day like today we honor them and show them our appreciation," continued Rodeghero.
"Every day they're out there protecting us, sometimes from ourselves, obviously from terrorists who have only one thing in mind, and that's to disrupt our life," said Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, "We cannot allow that to happen."
In a separate ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday, six firefighters recruits also completed their last day of fire training in Clearwater.