Central Texans mark 17th anniversary of 9/11

The Austin Fire Department is helping to honor firefighters and first responders on the 17th anniversary of 9/11.

A ceremony was held at 7:30 a.m. at the Buford Fire Tower that was attended by local officials including Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

It's just one of several held each year to honor the 343 firefighters who died. Thousands of first responders stayed at ground zero in New York City for weeks and many are dealing with health issues. Officials say that the number of people who've died since 9/11 from exposure to poisonous elements that were in the air will soon surpass the number that died on 9/11.

One Austin Fire Department captain who went ot New York after the attacks was on the scene for 10 days and says while he hasn't gotten sick he does get wellness checks every year.

At 9:30 a.m. there's the annual stair climb at the AFD Drill Tower off Pleasant Valley and at noon bagpipes and drums will be played inside the Capitol.

All the events are open to the public.