Madison first responders honor the thousands of people who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks

MADISON, Ala. –  Just shy of  3,000 people died in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. You probably remember where you were when United States enemies crashed four planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

On Monday, people in the City of Madison paused for a special ceremony. The service began at 7:46 a.m., which is the same time the first plane struck the north tower in New York City. First responders like Capt. Steve Wilkerson said these annual ceremonies will never get old.

“A lot of people died in this event,” Capt. Wilkerson said. “The United States of America was attacked; we need to always remember those people.”

Wilkerson was in Madison when the towers fell. But, he served on the front lines in New York City amidst the rubble and terror.

“They would move us every day, we would do some escorts,” Capt. Wilkerson said. “We would just do whatever they needed us to do.”

Wilkerson works alongside men like Corporal Chris Townsend. Both officers paid homage to the thousands of men and women who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks during a memorial service at Madison Fire Department’s Station Two.

“It’s an honor to pay tribute to officers and firefighters throughout our country,” Cpl. Townsend said.

Townsend worked as a dispatcher in Madison County back in September 2001. He said he has watched emergency response change since 9-11-01.

“We saw a big push to pull together, to work together, even more so than we already did, along with our firefighter brothers and sisters,” Cpl. Townsend said.

As life moves forward, Wilkerson and his team remember the past to try to prevent catastrophes in the future.