The City of North Port honored the heroism of first responders on September 11th in a Patriot's Day Ceremony.

Fire Rescue Chief Scott Titus showed up wearing his combat gear instead of the formal dress uniform. He gave a powerful speech explaining why.

“I want to provide a visual reminder that this day of remembrance is not about routine. It is not about being comfortable. It’s a reminder that 21 years ago this morning almost three thousand people said goodbye to their families for the last time. 343 of those were our fire service brothers and sisters and they died wearing this uniform,” said Chief Titus. 

City officials reflected on where they were the moment the first plane hit.

“I was living in St. Augustine, turned the television on and the plane had just hit the first tower. I was glued to the television. I didn’t do anything but sit there and cry and take in the horror of watching those towers fall, it was just horrific,” said Jill Luke, a North Port City Commissioner.

“I was in charge of landscaping at the time and my wife had called and told me a plane had hit the building and I thought it may be an accident, and then she told me a second plane had hit the building and at that point I knew it wasn’t an accident,” said Mayor Pete Emrich.

These vivid memories will be passed down for generations to come.

"There are many kids that are under 21 that have no clue what this day is. We have to be the teachers of history with our own personal remembrance stories,” said Debbie McDowell, a North Port City Commissioner.

Bells rang out to remember each person who lost their life.

“To keep their spirits alive for future generations we’ll remember what September 11th, 2001 meant. We must never forget the sacrifice, the bravery, the relentless courage and the heroism of some who gave all,” said North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison.