Americans near and far are remembering 9-11 on Wednesday.
Looking back 18 years ago, terrorists hijacked jetliners and used them to attack the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Around the nation, ceremonies are marking one of the darkest days in U.S. history.
News Channel 3’s Caitlin Thropay gives us a look at some of the memorials that occurred Wednesday, starting with the Palm Springs Fire Department Remembrance Ceremony and then a memorial for a local woman who died in one of the planes that crashed into the twin towers.
“It’s been 18 years since the devastating September 11 attacks that shook the U.S,” Jason Loya with Palm Springs Fire began by saying in Wednesday’s memorial ceremony.
Honor Guard Commander, Greg Lyle helped organize the Palm Springs Fire Department Remembrance Ceremony honoring those who sacrificially gave up their lives trying to save the lives of others.
“We’re here to recognize the exact moment 5:46 on our side of the country that Flight 11 shut down the north tower. In that moment, all of our lives changed,” Lyle told News Channel 3.
This is the 5th year this memorial in Palm Springs has taken place.
Palm Springs Mayor, Robert Moon was also at the ceremony.
“It’s really a beautiful memorial that we have here because there’s actually a piece from the World Trade Center that’s actually a part of this memorial,” Moon said.
Year after year, the turnout grows bigger and bigger, bringing the community together.
“John 15:13 says, ‘Greater love has no one than to lay down one’s life for his friends,'” Loya read in a dedicated prayer.
As the day went on, another life remembered, Barbara Keating. She was a Canyon Sands homeowner who was aboard the flight that hit the second tower around 9 a.m.
One of her neighbors described her as a permanent fixture in the neighborhood.
“The biggest memory that most people have was that at about 4 or 5 o’clock, she’d come out with a plastic jug of martinis and give some to whoever was around,” Frank King said.
Keating was the first person he met when moving to the desert.
“I think our first day sitting around the pool we were the only people there until this woman came out of her place a couple doors away and came over and introduced herself that she was Barbara Keating and welcomed us to the neighborhood,” he said.
A year after her death in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the neighborhood planted a lemon tree in her honor which they gather around every anniversary.
“In every body of people you have someone with an interesting story and in this case it was a horror story and it made the community here be more of a community for me rather than a place to live,” he said.
Memorials continue into the evening. The La Quinta Civic Center is hosting a vigil at 7 p.m. that will feature musical performances, speeches and public art composed of World Trade Center Building remnants.