Central New York remembers September 11

On the 11th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, Central New Yorkers gathers to remember the victims and first responders.

Emergency responders and the public gathered at Fayette Firefighter's Park in downtown Syracuse to remember those who lost their lives.

For Deputy Chief Charlie Duffy of the Syracuse Fire Department, the sacrifices of his fellow firefighters that day is what he remembers.

"They didn't turn back. You knew there had to be some fear, but they didn't turn back. So we can't forget that and it gets more powerful each year for me," he says.

At exactly 8:46 a.m, a seventeen minute period of silence was observed. The 17 minutes represented the time between the first and second planes hitting the Twin Towers.

Vietnam Veteran Greg Stevens was one of those who turned out to see Tuesdayâ??s memorial. He says 9/11 is an important day to be remembered.

"Eleven years later I think it is something everyone should remember, like Pearl Harbor Day," he says.

There was also a memorial service at the 9/11 memorial in Sheridan Park.

Firefighter Lonnie Johnson says while those who lost their lives on 9/11 may be gone, they will never be forgotten.

"The whole country was affected by it and will never forget it and we shouldn't forget it. that's why we honor this day," he says.

Around the country, others gather to remember the victims and heroes. Victims' families and others were poised to gather and grieve at ground zero, the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pa., for the first time after the emotional turning point of last year's 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. And the ceremony itself will be different: For the first time, elected officials won't speak.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama plan to attend the Pentagon ceremony. Vice President Joe Biden is expected to speak in Shanksville.

"It is also our obligation and our duty to make sure that we will always remember," says Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a media release. "As a new generation grows up without having witnessed the horror of September 11th, it is important to educate our children so they can understand the tragedy that unfolded on that day, the bravery and courage of our first responders, and the outpouring of goodwill in communities across New York and America as we recovered as one state and one nation."

Rep. Anne Marie Buerkle says in a media release, "Although eleven years have passed, September 11, 2011 is a day that we will always remember. It is important that we pause and pay tribute to the heroes of that day. May we never take for granted the value of life and the cost freedom."

(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)