The Havelock community gathered outside of the city’s police station Tuesday to remember the terrorists attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and pay tribute to the nearly 3,000 lives that were lost that day.

Local city officials, first responders, and students from Annunciation Catholic School gathered around Havelock’s 9/11 Memorial, at the center of which stands a remnant from the World Trade Centers that collapsed after being struck by passenger planes.

After leading those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem, Havelock Fire/EMS Chief Rick Zaccardelli took the podium and remarked, “What a beautiful Tuesday morning it is. It’s like the calm before the storm. It’s the same thing that people who went to work 17 years ago on a Tuesday thought.”

Zaccardelli said it was important for everyone to remember what happened on Sept.r 11, 2001. He then gave a brief overview of that day’s event: First, Flight 11 hit the First North Trade Center Tower at 8:46 a.m.; then United Flight 175 hit the South Tower at 9:03 a.m followed by American Flight 77, which hit the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m.

The final crash was United Flight 93, which plunged into a field in Shanksville, Pa. at 10:03 a.m.

Zaccardelli said firefighters across the nation would be taking part in the Stair Climb Tuesday, walking 110 floors in honor of their fellow firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11.

“It’s very important for us to never forget that. As a firefighter, I’ve got to remember my brothers and sisters, 343 firefighters lost their lives that day. They were going into a building when people were coming out. They were doing their job,” said Zaccardelli.

Havelock Police Chief Marvin Williams said he was working as a state highway patrolman when he heard that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Centers.

“Little did I know or anyone know there were three more aircrafts headed toward destruction. I can still remember that sinking feeling, not being able to understand what happened, that gut wrenching feeling when I was looking at the video seeing the first tower crumble down. Just seeing that image is something I know I’ll never forget,” said Williams.

Turning to the students gathered behind him, Williams said it was important for young people to be told about the events of 9/11.

“The youngest person to lose their life that day was 3 years old. That’s much younger than the students here at Annunciation,” he noted.

Williams said the best way to honor those who died on that day is to “ensure that we do not let anyone or anything divide us as a nation.”

Following a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m., the time of the first plane crash, Pastor Jim Daub, Havelock's emergency services chaplain, remarked on the seemingly ordinary beginning to a day that would change American life for years to come.

“It was another day of people bustling through busy terminals at the airport and through subway stations. It was supposed to be just another day, but it wasn’t,” said Daub. “It wasn't just another day for the 2,192 civilians who perished in the World Trade Center building; it was not just another day for the 343 New York Fire Department members who lost their lives and whose lives were sacrificed; it was not just another day for the 71 law enforcement members of the New York Police Department, the New York Port Authority and several other departments who gave of their lives in the line of duty.”