COLUMBUS, Ga (WRBL)- Here in Columbus, first responders gathered downtown to honor their fallen brothers and sisters, 19 years to the day of the attacks.

The ceremony in Columbus pays tribute to the fallen; civilians, those who fought back against terrorists, and fellow first responders who perished in the line of duty on that tragic day.

19-years on, that moment remains seared in the memory of veteran and retired police officer Mark LaJoye.

“I watched this plane come in from the right side of my screen to the left, and strike tower number two I knew then that without a doubt that it was a terrorist attack, and that our nation would always be in peril because of it,” said LaJoye.

Columbus Police and Fire department personnel stood at attention and bowed their heads in a moment of silence to honor the dead; gone too soon, but today, not forgotten.

“As a  young man growing up in New Jersey, and New York all I’ve known is seeing the world trade center across the river from New Jersey. I was a young man stationed in Germany at the time of 9/11 and continued service after that, but more importantly the guys that I remember are the guys that tried so hard to keep this tradition alive. The men and women who lost fellow brothers and sisters that day that were first responders,” said Veteran Mickey Mays.

Finally, a color guard presented two U.S. flags to Columbus Police Chief Rickey Boren.

The pattern on the flags created by colored thread, embroidering the names of the 2,977 people who died in the 9-11 attacks.