Philadelphia honors fallen 9/11 heroes

PHILADELPHIA - September 11, 2012

The first memorial ceremony in Philadelphia was held beneath the limbs of a giant elm tree in the courtyard of the Betsy Ross House where the nation's first flag was stitched together.

A montage of comforting sounds and symbols served as a backdrop for a collection of speakers recalling that awful September day.

The second ceremony was held on the banks of Schuylkill just below the Chestnut Street Bridge.

A blue tarp was pulled back to reveal the 1370 pound floor beam which points toward ground zero. Placed askew on a polished base of stone the design said to symbolize the chaos of that awful day 11 years ago.

In earlier remarks, Mayor Michael Nutter talked of the confusion and fear that came with the attack.

"I will never forget how vulnerable and afraid, I and many other felt, because we did not know what was going on," said Mayor Nutter.

Tuesday morning, first responders remembered not just fallen comrades but service men and women who have died in subsequent combat.

They marched to the shaded courtyard of the Betsy Ross House. There with a backdrop of symbolic bell ringing and patriotic touchstones, speakers, they recalled how 911 unfolded and America changed.

"Never in my life had i felt fear and sadness and confusion and anger all at the same time," said Lisa Moulder.

"We are here to pay tribute to those who lost their lives, the heroes, the police officers and firefighters that ran into the building in order to try and save lives and lost their own in the process," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

"We are focusing our honor and prayers from this small court yard up to heaven to honor our fallen heroes," said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers. "The police and firefighters that went up into the Tower, they rescued people before they lost their lives. We should always remember that."

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