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On the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001, a ceremony at the Kansas Firefighters Museum honored the lives lost while looking toward a brighter future.
"I think right now, it's a remembrance now," said D.D. Wilson, a retired Wichita firefighter. "There should be a sense of rejoicing now. We've come together as a community, as a country, as a nation, as a world on this day.
"I think we should celebrate this day, and remember in such a way that the forgotten will never be forgotten. There will still be tears, but we should rejoice and celebrate their lives."
The remembrance included performances by the Wichita South High School Madrigals, the JROTC from Hamilton Middle School and the releasing of 80 white doves. Wilson said the doves symbolized life and freedom.
Wilson said many people gave their lives for the greater good on Sept. 11, including those in his former profession.
"It's the ultimate sacrifice, being a first responder. The men and women that do this job don't take it for granted," Wilson said. "They go in burning buildings, hazardous situations, car wrecks, medical situations and try to save lives. Sometimes we lose our lives trying to save others, but that's the sacrifice we've made to be first responders.
"No matter what we do as firefighters out there, there is always going to be an inherent danger when we go into a structure that is the unknown."
An Air Force flyover concluded the ceremony.