GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) – Where were you on 9/11?
That simple question brings back a flood of memories for people who were alive then, as they remember where they were when America changed forever.
Nearly 3,000 people died after terrorists hijacked planes and crashed into the Twin Towers in Manhattan, New York, the Pentagon, in Washington, D.C., and an open field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
While it has been two decades, communities across the country are remembering it like it was yesterday.
“The news broke, and we basically stopped everything and set up a TV and everybody in the restaurant watched,” Jeramie Mullis said, an attendee at Garner, North Carolina’s 20th anniversary remembrance on Saturday.
On a sunny, Saturday morning, Mullis and his family joined the more than 100 people gathered outside of Garner Town Hall, praying for the people who lost their lives in the act of terrorism.
“It was the first time I really, really felt afraid,” Mullis’ wife Joye said as she recalled the events.
It was a time for attendees to relive the horrific day from 20 years ago.
Additionally, there was a wide array of people in attendance Saturday, some closer to the tragic events than others.
Standing out in the crowd, was a man wearing a New York Fire Department shirt commemorating Sept. 11, 2001.
“I was an off-duty paramedic in New York City on 9/11,” Glenn Daniels said, simply.
He was activated to assist teams that day, but never made it down to Ground Zero.
So many of his friends had however, but didn’t make it out.
“I knew several people…paramedics that I worked with, police officers that I worked with, who perished on 9/11,” Daniels said.
He moved to the Triangle 15 years ago and each year, he attends 9/11 memorials.
“Remembering those heroes, who they were, what they stood for and the sacrifices they made on that day,” Daniels said. “I miss those people. 20 years does not make it any easier.”
Each year, he’s encouraged that other people are also determined to remember the day America changed forever.
“We love each other and care about each other and we’re willing to sacrifice for one another,” Daniels said.
He said he knows that because Americans are actively remembering the tragedy, those ultimate sacrifices will live on forever.
“Our kids aren’t at the age where they can take (it all) in just yet. We keep it in broad strokes for now, but as they grow older, the real gruesome tragedy will come out,” Mullis said. “But it’ll only happen if we as parents actively teach them over time.”