Tallahassee, Florida - The city of Tallahassee pauses to remember the nearly 3,000 people killed in the 9/11 attacks.
Tallahassee firefighters joined state and local leaders for a remembrance ceremony featuring a steel beam from the World Trade Center. The beam was draped with a flag inscribed with the names of all 2,977 people who died in the attacks in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.
The beam has been donated to the Tallahassee Fire Department. The city plans to incorporate it into a new public safety complex.
Firefighters rang a bell in memory of the victims at 8:46 a.m. - the same time that the first jet crashed into the North Tower 11 years ago.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said all of us owe a special thanks to the first responders who raced to protect others that day.
"America will never forget those who rallied to protect her and defend her at the very moment when we didn't even comprehend fully what was taking place."
Tallahassee City Commissioner Andrew Gillum said he felt the sadness of the day and its memories. He said Americans mourn our loss but celebrate freedom and liberty as well.
"We also take the time to remember what it's like to be an American, the freedoms that we celebrate, the sacrifices that our fellow men and women make to protect us and preserve liberty and we're humbled and still saddened even now 11 years later as we think about the horrific tragedy of 9/11."
Nineteen terrorists attacked the U.S. that day in four passenger jets and forever changed America's sense of security.
Deputy Chief Wes Roberts of the Tallahassee Fire Department asked people to remember the families who lost loved ones.
"I ask you as we reflect on this to please remember our first responders, to please remember our service members and please remember those impacted by the 9-11 events. God Bless our first responders, God Bless our military and God Bless the United States."
Students at Florida State University also organized a special remembrance for Patriot Day.
They remembered the people killed in the terrorist attacks by placing hundreds of American flags at the center of campus on Landis Green.
At precisely 9:11 a.m., the A cappella group Reverb sang the National Anthem while the military fraternity Pershing Rifles presented the colors for the ceremony.
This flag memorial was part of an effort called the "9/11 Never Forget Project" organized by FSU's Thank A Soldier Organization.
Signe Thomas said students wanted to pay their respects to those who died on this day 11 years ago.
"So we never forget those heroes. That's what the flag memorial is called. It's the 9/11 Never Forget Project because we just want to make sure that this isn't passing by like any other day and that folks remember and stop and think about what that means and what happened to our country."
Thomas said the project was also intended to thank the soldiers who are sacrificing so much to help prevent another terrorist attack like 9/11.
And the state Capitol offered a somber reminder of the 9/11 attacks on Tuesday.
Gov. Rick Scott issued a proclamation recognizing Tuesday as a National Day of Service and Remembrance and he ordered all flags at the Capitol and other state facilities to be flown at half staff.
The governor's proclamation says Florida remembers the nearly 3,000 people killed in the attacks, honors the bravery of all first responders and thanks the soldiers supporting the war on terror.