Millions of people across North America paid tribute to those who lost their lives 13 years ago in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including dozens who attended a service here in London.

A large crowd gathered at the London Fire Department’s Memorial Headquarters at Fire Station No. 1 at the corner of Horton and Colbourne Streets Thursday morning.

Dignitaries, fire fighters, police officers and members of the public all gathered to honour the hundreds of emergency workers who lost their lives that fateful day when planes struck the World Trade Centre in New York City as well as the local fire fighters who have died in the line of duty.

The solemn crowd formed a semi-circle around the granite cenotaph as officials spoke words of praise as they described the bravery of the men and women who went into the twin towers 13 years ago.

On that day, 343 fire fighters, 37 port authority police officers, 23 NYPD officers and eight paramedics made the ultimate sacrifice as they helped evacuate 15,000 people from the towers before they fell.”We will never forget them,” said Tom Nicholson, the executive officer for the London Professional Fire Fighters Association.London Professional Fire Fighters Association President John Hassan said they deal with danger everyday.

“No one ever expects something like 9/11 to happen, but we on the front lines live with this reality everyday,” Hassan said. “When we go to work and we put our gear on our rigs we answer the call knowing in the back of our minds this day could be our last.”

“We hope for the best, but we are always prepared for the worst.”

Fire officials honoured the 22 fire fighters who have fallen in the line of duty locally by reading their names aloud. Their names are also engraved on the granite monument in front of the fire hall.

Afterwards, a piper played Flowers of the Forest before the ceremonial ringing of the fire bell followed by Amazing Grace.

“I think it’s a very good response,” Hassan said of the turnout to the ceremony.

“I’m fairly certain, people all over…even if they couldn’t be here were taking time out of their day to remember.”

Source: Londoners Commemorate 9/11, Mourn Fallen Fire Fighters | (CFPL AM) AM 980