St. Augustine residents show solidarity with New York on 9/11 | News
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Leaders and firefighters in the Nation's Oldest City took part in a 9-11 memorial at the city's main fire station.
It was especially touching for some of the area's newest residents.
One toll of the bell for every year ... 11 have passed since the terrorist attacks of September 11th.
For St. Augustine residents like Lynn Rothemund, this ceremony is a small way to show she hasn't forgotten.
"I feel like I have to come," Rothemund said.
But for three New York firefighters in this crowd, this ceremony is a way to see that even people a thousand miles away from the tragedy still stand with them.
"It just didn't happen in New York. It happened to all of us," said John Westfield.
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"I almost take it as a personal thing -- that they're doing it for me," said Lt. Robert Aponte.
The men remember responding to the World Trade Center that day.
"The one tower was still standing and then the building just started coming down on us," Westfield said.
"By the time we reached the World Trade Center, the tower was gone," Aponte said.
And Aponte says that for the last ten years, he felt like it all happened just yesterday.
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"But this year on the 11th, it feels like 11 years and I don't know why and it scares me because ... am I forgetting? Does that mean I'm starting to forget? And I never want to forget."
Because no one wants to forget the ones lost eleven years ago.
"But it's that empty chair every year, every Christmas, the presents that my son's never gotten. That's what hurts and all those people did was just go to work that day," said Gerard Durkin.
And as ceremonies like these continue, they say they never will.
"Taps gets you every time ... You know, after 9/11 you heard taps 300 times, but ... that's what gets most guys," said Westfield.