(WBIR-Knoxville) Sounds of bagpipes echoed down Main Street as local police officers, firefighters, and leaders with Knoxville and Knox County honored victim's who died twelve years ago.
Family members were brought to tears as the names of the three East Tennesseans who died, Timothy Aaron Haviland, John Robinson Lenior, who went by "Rob," and William Anthony Karnes, who went by "Tony", were read.
"My brother Tony Karnes was 37-years-old and he was on the 97th floor of Tower 1. And I pretty much knew when I saw the plane hit, knowing where he was, probably the staircase or his desk., I knew he was probably vaporized or killed instantly," said Brenda Vandever, William Karnes' sister.
"Our oldest son, Rob Lenoir, worked on the 104th floor of the second tower. And he didn't come home that day. He along with 3,000 others," said Pat Lenoir. "So we always remember, of course. And we remember especially today. "
Mayors Madeline Rogero and Tim Burchett placed a wreath at the monument, which is engraved with the names of all of the victims.
"I remember they planted three trees, a couple of years ago," said Lenoir. "The memorial itself, the monument, is a great tribute."
Even though time has helped the families heal, the memories, like the names on the monument, are forever engraved.
"Tony had two kids. At the time of the terrorist attack, Courtney was nine and Andrew was 11. And today they're 21 and 23," said Lenoir. "This is what makes me realize that 12 years has indeed gone by."
"I remember 9/11. And I can tell you exactly where I was. Just like the majority of the population can probably do the same. It's still as fresh in my mind as it was when it was happening," said Captain DJ Corcoran, with the Knoxville Fire Department.
KFD used a ladder truck to raise a flag over Main Street, in front of the County-City Building.
Local firefighters remembered their brothers who died trying to save people trapped in the towers.
"343 firefighters. As people were leaving the towers, they were going in. There was still radio traffic as the tower was beginning to fall, going up. 'We've got more victims we need to get out.' So I mean, I think that speaks for itself," said Corcoran.
While twelve years have passed, the community still comes together to honor the fallen heroes and local victims, making sure their lives are not forgotten.
"It means a lot to the family that people take the time to talk to us, and keep memories alive. That's very important to us," said Vandever.