SAN ANGELO, Texas- Ahead of the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the San Angelo Fire Department hosted a memorial honoring those who tragically lost their lives in 2001.

“On that day, a date that had no special meaning to us, our country, and a generation of Americans were changed in an instant,” said firefighter, Mason Matthews.

Gathered at the city’s 9/11 monument, along the Concho river, community members and notable guests were in attendance including guest speaker Col. Eugene Moore III, Commander of the 17th mission support group at Goodfellow Air Force Base.

“We will always remember what happened and we’ll never let it happen again,” said Col. Moore. “That’s why we continue to do what we do. That’s why Goodfellow does what it does, day in and day out, training the next warriors to protect our nation.”

As nearly 3000 men, women, and children are remembered including 343 firefighters, 71 law enforcement officers, 8 paramedics, and 55 military personnel.

Newly appointed Fire Chief Patrick Brody shares why we must continue to never forget.

“As September 11th approaches every year, it’s a grim reminder of how dangerous this profession is. It’s a reminder of the oath we all took to protect and save lives. It’s an oath to serve this community and the citizens in San Angelo who call it home,” said Brody.

The local 9/11 memorial was dedicated on September 8, 2003. San Angelo is one of the few memorials in Texas that includes a piece of steel from ground zero in New York City.