ORLANDO, Fla. — As the nation commemorates and remembers the terror attacks 18 years ago on 9/11, many in Central Florida will be honoring and paying tribute as well.
- Orlando firefighters climbed city building in full gear
- Candlelight remembrance ceremonies to be held
- RELATED stories:
A group of Orlando firefighters put on their gear and climbed 110 flights of stairs inside the Bank of America building on Monday, as it represents the number of floors inside the World Trade Center.
Today these firefighters, wearing their gear, climbed 110 floors of the @BankofAmerica building to honor the fallen first responders who gave the ultimate sacrifice on September 11, 2001. The 110 flights of stairs represent the floors inside of the World Trade Center #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/eYHr9eHTkC— Orlando Fire Dept (@OrlandoFireDept) September 10, 2019
The Orlando Fire Department held a 9/11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday night to honor the firefighters and law enforcement officers who lost their lives.
Orlando Fire Chief Richard Wales said, "September 11 is a particularly touchy subject for firefighters across this nation, we lost 343 brothers and sisters."
That is exactly how many red candles were lit outside of Fire Station One -- one for each FDNY member who died that day. Blue candles honored 60 NYPD and Port Authority officers killed. One white candle burned in memory of FDNY Chaplain Father Mychal Judge.
Chief Wales said this ceremony is important to members of his department and he hopes more people will join them next year to help keep the promise to never forget.
Gov. Ron DeSantis also ordered all flags throughout the state be flown at half-staff.
In New York City, annual memorial ceremony, including the reading of the victims' names, will took place at the September 11th Memorial and Museum in Lower Manhattan.
A moment of silence was held at 8:46 a.m. to mark the moment when a plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
The reading of names began shortly after that.
Another moment of silence was be held at 9:03 a.m. when the South Tower was struck.
Four more moments of silence were be observed after that: when the Pentagon was struck; when the South Tower fell; when Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pa.; and finally at 10:28 when the North Tower fell.
President Donald Trump observed the September 11th anniversary with a service at the Pentagon, where 184 people were killed when another hijacked plane crashed into the west side of the building.
Former President George W. Bush was scheduled attend a wreath laying at the site this afternoon.
Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to speak at a ceremony in Shanksville, Pa.
That is where United Flight 93 crashed as passengers and crew attempted to regain control of the plane from hijackers. All 40 people on board were killed.
The annual Tribute in Light will illuminate the skies over Lower Manhattan Wednesday night.
Two beams meant to represent the Twin Towers will be lit from dusk until dawn. They can be seen for miles.
The tribute first debuted six months after the terror attacks in March of 2002 and has continued on every September 11 since.
The attacks' aftermath is visible from airport security checkpoints to Afghanistan. A rocket exploded at the U.S. embassy as the anniversary began in Afghanistan, where a post-9/11 invasion has become America's longest war.
"People say, 'Why do you stand here, year after year?'" Chundera Epps, a sister of September 11 victim Christopher Epps, said at last year's ceremony at the World Trade Center. "Because soldiers are still dying for our freedom. First responders are still dying and being ill."
"We can't forget. Life won't let us forget," she added.
In Central Florida, other events were scheduled to takw place to honor the day, such as a ceremony at Willie Bright Civic Plaza in DeLand.
Orange County Public School students held their 6th annual memorial tribute and will be joined by the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Orlando Police Department, Orlando Fire Department, and Orange County Fire Rescue.
There are also a number of events where flags will be planted across Central Florida.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.