Austin area events held to honor 20th anniversary of September 11

Across the country, people gathered to remember 9/11 and Austin was no exception. Events were held around the area to remember the almost 3,000 lives lost that day 20 years ago.

Inside the Texas State Capitol, the Emergency Service Pipes And Drums honored the first responders lost on September 11, 2001 through a musical tribute.

"It is a moment of catharsis for the community to come together to remember the sacrifice of those people who went in knowing it was their job, knowing that there was a high possibility they would never come out, but they knew people needed help and they went in," said Andre Delareza, Assistant Chief of the Austin Fire Department.

Austin Fire, Austin Police, and other law enforcement officials all attended the event.

"With this being the 20th anniversary, it just means that much more. You have all these heroes that just gave their lives that day. They were running in when people were running out, and we made a commitment that we were going to honor them and never forget them," said Interim APD Chief Joseph Chacon.

The Circuit of the Americas teamed up with local non-profit Samaritan Center to host a Memorial Tower Climb to give everyone who wanted to come down the chance to climb the COTA tower four times to mimic the 110 floors inside the Twin Towers.

Denise Wall climbed the tower and said she did it to honor the first responders lost on 9/11.

"I thought about the first responders going up the towers, carrying 100 pounds of equipment, and having so many flights to go up. That’s immense. I really, really admire them and honor them, and all of the first responders for that matter," she said.

Almost 3,000 people lost their lives on 9/11. The number represents first responders and civilians.

In North Austin, the Northwest Austin Rotary Club placed 300 flags in the ground. One flag to represent 10 lives lost.

"As we planted those flags, we just remember sacrifices that were paid and the people that's lives were cut short for that dreadful day," said Rick Hoffman, President of the Northwest Austin Rotary Club.

Austinite Joanne Rossa also took it upon herself to remember 9/11. She created and posted a sign on her fence that read ‘Never Forget 9/11/2001 God Bless America".

"The response was wonderful. The people going by honking so I think it's important that we do this and teach the history to the youth" said Rossa.

The Austin Fire Department held a series of events to remember 9/11 including a memorial ceremony at the Buford Fire Tower on Lady Bird Lake and a stair climb at the Pleasant Valley Drill Tower in full gear.

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