NAS PENSACOLA (WALA) - In commemoration of the events of September 11, 2001, Naval Air Station Pensacola held a ceremony at the National Naval Aviation Museum.
Twelve years have passed since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. A memorial and new World Trade Center now stand where the old towers once did.
For many Americans, however, the memory of where they were that day is still fresh.
NAS Commanding Officer Cpt. Keith Hoskins said he remembers clearly.
"I was actually here at Naval Airstation Pensacola. I was flying with the Blue Angels, and I was getting ready to take off. That's when they grounded all of the flights," said Hoskins.
Escambia County Commissioner Gene Valentino said he was at home.
"I remember getting out of bed and the news was on. I thought it was an animation but I was watching an airliner hit the North tower of the twin towers in New York City," Valentino said.
Hundreds gathered onboard NAS Pensacola Wednesday, September 11 to commemorate and honor the nearly 3,000 victims of the tragedy.
A two-bell ceremony, 21 gun salute and prayers were somber reminders of what was lost that day.
As military men and women from all branches and even first responders looked on, guest speaker and New York best-selling author John Weisman spoke about the impact of the attacks.
"We lost a certain amount of innocence that day because it was a non-state entity that did this to us. It wasn't the Japanese or Germans doing this. Certainly, we knew about terrorism but it wasn't on a global scale," said Weisman.
Weisman said he still has a piece of metal from the World Trade Towers as a reminder.
"I think about 9/11 every single day. It keeps me angry and it also makes me humble because I know about the sacrifice people are giving," Weisman said.
While most folks said they remember exactly where we they were the moment the towers were hit, for many it means different things. One thing people who spoke to FOX10 could agree on is that the memory unites Americans.
Ron Beermunder said the ceremony was a reminder of how the country came together in its time of need.
"It was uplifting. It wasn't just a reminder of what happened over and over, but of the good that came from it. Most of the people leaving the ceremony left feeling uplifted, revitalized and renewed. I think that's the most important part of a tragedy," said Beermunder.
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