In Downtown Memphis at the Fire Museum the men and women of the Memphis Fire, Shelby County Fire and the Memphis Police Department gathered to honor and pay respect to the thousands of men and women who were killed 12 years ago today.
Among the crowd Robert Qualls who is a Memphis Fire Lieutenant. Qualls Says like many he'll never forget the day or where he was. "We were returning from a fire got back around 8 and when we got back to the engine house the phone was ringing and they were telling us to turn the TV on we actually turned the TV on just in time to see the second plane fly into the towers I turned to my guys and I said go home and pack were going somewhere."
A member of Tennessee Task Force One Qualls and 90 others made the emergency response trip to the Pentagon to lend a Tennessee helping hand. "You don't want to know what we saw. We worked for 10 days the plane when through the first 3 rings of the pentagon we started from the front and worked all the way to the back we were there 10 days."
Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong and Memphis Fire Director Alvin Benson add this is a day to always remember and never forget. "This day is meant for us to honor those men and women that actually made the ultimate sacrifices. This day represents an opportunity for us to not forget."
This as Qualls, who lost personal friends and countless others from across the county who responded in the aftermath of this unimaginable tragedy, says it will forever be impossible to forget. "I personally knew three of them. I went to class with three of them, and the three guys I knew from New York... None of them made it.
Senator Alexander on 9/11:
U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the twelfth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks: "Now 12 years after the tragic attacks of Sept. 11, we still mourn those we lost that day, and we honor the fighting men and women who have made sacrifices on our behalf since. One good way to remember Sept. 11 is an idea I call 'Pledge plus Three': Start each school day with the Pledge of Allegiance-as many schools still do-followed by a teacher or student sharing for three minutes 'what it means to be an American.' This would help put back into its rightful place the teaching of U.S. history in our schools so that every child grows up knowing what it means to be an American, which is especially important on Sept. 11."
Senator Cochran on 9/11:
In observance of the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today issued the following statement: "The victims of the attacks on that clear day twelve years ago are still remembered and mourned, as are the brave servicemen and women who have given their lives to combat terrorism. I hope all Americans will take a moment today to reflect on the price of freedom, and to appreciate its many blessings." The U.S. Congress today observed the 9/11 attacks with a moment of silence and brief ceremony on the steps of the Capitol.
Senator Corker on 9/11:
U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., today made the following statement marking the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. "I think the best way we can mark September 11th is by remembering the lives lost and honoring them by working to make the country that was attacked that day even stronger," said Corker.