To mark the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, ceremonies were held across Western New York on Thursday.
Remembrances were held simultaneously at 9:30 a.m. on the three campuses of Erie Community College. Downtown at ECC's City Campus, Buffalo Firefighters joined student veterans in raising the U.S. flag and then lowering it to half-staff in commemoration of Patriot Day.
Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield called it a solemn day.
"We lost a number of our peers on 9/11, a number of civilians. [It was ] just a national tragedy and here it just brings it all back and makes it all very, very real. Men and women, on a daily basis, put their lives on the line for others. We have our military personnel who are deployed. We have men and women manning these rigs here, all over the country, police officers," Whitfield said.
"It's just a beautiful thing to be a part of that brotherhood."
More than 600 student veterans, many of whom served in Iraq and Afghanistan, are currently in enrolled at ECC's three campuses. Seventeen of the college's alumni have died in the War on Terror.
In North Tonawanda, a dedication ceremony was held for a new 9/11 Memorial in Brauer Park next to City Hall. It includes a piece of steel from the wreckage of the World Trade Center.
An Honor Guard was posted at the Buffalo Naval and Military Park, standing watch over the recently-unveiled WNY Iraq/Afghanistan Memorial starting at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane struck the North Tower.
A new 9-11 Remembered Exhibit was unveiled Thursday at Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village in Amherst.