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9/11 remembrance ceremony honors firefighters in Royal Palm Beach

Posted at 6:25 PM, Sep 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-11 18:25:45-04

September 11 is a somber day in American history.

It's been 20 years since the tragic terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

There have been ceremonies and memorials nationwide and here at home.

Hundreds of firefighters gathered Saturday at Christ Fellowship Church in Royal Palm Beach to honor their colleagues impacted by the 9/11 attacks.

Firefighters like Lieutenant Brian Matzen reflect on the 20 years since the attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives - 343 of which were firefighters.

"A friend of mine called me up and told me that tragedy had happened and I remember tuning in and watching it on tv," Matzen said. "Never forget that people do amazing courageous acts when they need to. And I want everyone to remember how close the country came after 911."

The event began at 9:58 a.m., a minute before the South tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.

It started with a moment of silence, followed by an honor guard as speakers took to the podium.

For Patti Hofstrant, the wife of a firefigher captain, she knows how difficult it can be for the families of first responders that didn't live through the events to learn why it can never be forgotten.

"It's unbelievable that 20 years has gone by this quickly, but it's just as tragic today as it was the day of," she said. "Don't just learn that some planes went into a building. Learn the whole story, talk to people, people don't talk to people anymore... learn about the trauma and the terror that affected our country forever."

Hofstrand wants those that did live through 9/11 to remember the unity that came from tragedy, and hopes that 20 years later the country can find a way to come together again.