Events held around Savannah to honor those lost during 9/11 terror attacks

Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 3:21 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The sound of The Big Duke Alarm Bell rang through city streets as Savannah firefighters honored first responders on the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Radio calls marking each moment of the day played through the firehouse as crews stood under an American flag remembering the 343 New York firefighters who died in the attack.

“We spend more time with our firefighter brothers and sisters than we do with our own family so it cuts right straight to our heart when we see someone else doing all they can do because we would do the same thing if the opportunity presented itself,” Savannah Fire Department Assistant Chief Jack McCutchen said.

At a meeting of Savannah’s Rotary Club, a compelling speech to mark the day. Retired Lt. Col. Ted Anderson spoke with members about being in the Pentagon when American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the building.

“The walls caved, ceiling came down, lights went out. I remember that giant sucking sound of all of the air going toward the fueling fire is what I remember. I remember that sound,” Anderson said.

Anderson was awarded the Soldiers Medal for Valor after being credited with helping multiple people escape the Pentagon.

“The smoke was just overwhelming, but we had an opportunity to bring two or three people out. Unfortunately, there were people left behind that we did not have the opportunity to get to. That’s what sticks with me more than anything,” Anderson said. Anderson still struggles with the emotions of the day, but says he wanted to speak so that others would never forget the day. An idea echoed by Savannah firefighters. “It’s just sort of a constant reminder of their sacrifice and the sacrifice that we’re willing to do here in Savannah,” McCutchen said.