MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis is honoring its first responders on the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, through a day of activities.
“Everyone remembers where they were on September 11,” said Memphis Fire Services Director Gina Sweat.
Sweat had just finished her shift 17 years ago when she got a call from her mom, who told her to turn on the TV.
She then saw the second plane go into the south tower. Her thoughts immediately went to her counterparts in New York.
“That happened in New York and they’re family,” Sweat said. “All first responders are family.”
Seventeen years later, Sweat is being recognized along with her crews, Memphis Police Department, and the city’s paramedics.
Leadership Memphis hosted the first 9/11 Remembrance and Service Day at City Hall.
“It’s definitely our hope that all the first responders feel the love and respect of the whole community,” said Leadership Memphis President and CEO David Williams.
The day started with a ceremony honoring first responders with plaques and two moments of silence marking the attacks on the two World Trade Center towers.
Then, free meals were offered to first responders at community centers across the city.
Tuesday afternoon, volunteers cleaned up five military parks. It’s all to say thank you, which sometimes first responders don’t hear that often.
“It’s always nice to be recognized,” Sweat said.
“We wish we could hear it more often,” Williams said. “This is just one day. We hope they’ll hear it every day.”