For the past 11 years, people across the country have marked this day.
On this Tuesday, a day eerily similar to that fateful day in 2001, all of us here in the Capital Region took a moment to remember.
Frank Hanglein was part of Engine 10, Ladder 10 in New York City back in 2001. He retired three years ago and brought his family to Burnt Hills.
They attended Glenville’s remembrance ceremony at the Water’s Edge Lighthouse, where they told us this morning's beautiful sunshine quickly brought them right back to that morning on September 11th, 2001.
“That morning is very, very tough,” said Frank’s wife, Elizabeth, as she wiped tears from her eyes.
On this day, 11 years ago, Elizabeth’s husband had a job to do.
“He said, ‘I got to go,’ and I said, ‘Please don’t go, I’m pregnant, you can’t go,’ because I knew from that day it was never going to be the same, and I didn’t know if he was going to come home,” Elizabeth explained.
Frank was off duty when the planes hit the World Trade Center.
“We got there after the second tower collapsed and all I can liken it to was a volcano had gone off and there was ash all over the place and the sky,” he said.
“He has gone through things only a strong hero could go through,” said his proud wife.
Their two kids agreed.
Their daughter said, “I am very proud of my dad, he is very strong and brave.”
So, to honor their dad, and the heroes who never made it home, the Hanglein family joined other Schenectady County residents, all of whom have their own stories.
Glenville resident Steven Cafiero's son was killed in the attacks. Tuesday, he read aloud a poem he's spent the past 11 years writing. He says that project has given him the strength he needed to move forward.
“Let us wave our flags of the nation we hail,” he read. “We are America and we shall prevail!”
Elizabeth and Frank squeezed each other’s hands throughout the reading.
“It’s poetry like that, it’s a person like that, that makes you want to fight to the end for this country, for him, and for all those people who were lost that day,” Elizabeth said.
And though Frank shook hands and graciously accepted the thank-you's, he tells us, he has his own heroes.
“I see pictures all the time on documentaries of guys I grew up with in the fire department going into those buildings and seeing the fear their faces, and they still went in there,” Frank said. “I am proud to know them.”
Frank tells us his biggest fear is that Americans are forgetting what happened that day.
He says he does everything he can to teach his two young kids about 9/11 and how this country has changed in the years since.
Frank and Elizabeth hope every parent will do the same.