SARASOTA- Sarasota County Fire Service and Sheriff’s Office came together to remember the individuals who lost their lives on 9/11.

Members from both departments participated in the ceremony at Station 17, where a moment of silence was held and a bell was rung at the time the North Tower fell. Sarasota Resident Norm Schimmel donated a personal photograph of the new freedom tower at the World Trade Center. Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight says this year the memorial was even more personal to the Sheriff’s Office after losing one of their own.

“Kevin Blakely was a deputy we lost Kevin,” Sheriff Tom Knight said. “And Kevin volunteered to go up and work at ground zero to be part of those recovery efforts and those rescue efforts and we feel significantly sure that he contracted the cancer because of his time there, and we see that more and more now with the firefighters and the first responders who volunteered or who worked there that are passing away now we hear about that more and more.”

“As we go on and on,” Fire Chief Michael Regnier said. “We have a lot of younger firefighters coming in that we have to make sure that they remember as well and never forget. So when Norm Schimmel who donated the photo today, we can hang those up in the fire stations. Our firefighters will always have a memory as they walk past that photo and see what tragedy happened and then what has come from there.”

Sarasota County Fire Chief Michael Regnier says people still reference the 9/11 attacks as reasons they want to join the fire service.