HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The rain fell, but the flag rose as Huntsville first responders dedicated Sunday morning to the nearly 3,000 lives lost 21 years ago.

At precisely 7:46 a.m. CT – the moment when a jet crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in 2001 – sirens sounded for 30 seconds as members of Huntsville Police, Huntsville Fire & Rescue, and HEMSI stood for a moment of silence.

Huntsville’s Mayor Tommy Battle was also in attendance and told News 19 that it’s part of the city’s identity to pay homage.

“This whole country was attacked on 9/11,” Battle said. “This is our day when we stand firm that we’re going to stand with America. When we have our first responders here, when we have our police, our fire, it shows that we all work together. And we work together every day to make sure that our community is safe. But today is a very special day because many of their forces did not go home on the day of 9/11.”

After a prayer, bagpipes played “Amazing Grace” before the flag at Huntsville Fire Station No. 1 on Clinton Avenue was unfolded and raised to half-staff. Other fire stations across the city observed the moment of silence simultaneously.