Firefighters and staff at San Francisco's fire stations paid tribute to the hundreds of firefighters lost on the day of the 9/11 attacks and to those who continue to struggle with the physical and mental tolls of that day.
The tributes and ceremonies are now a tradition that may last for generations thanks to the commitment of firefighters, their families and neighbors.
San Francisco Fire Department's Chief Jeanine Nicholson acknowledged the realities of many first responders who survived the attacks and recovery efforts and said that since then, "we have lost hundreds more to cancer, lung disease, heart disease, suicide and other illnesses."
In addition, the chief remembered the nearly 3,000 civilians who were killed, including San Francisco native Betty Ong.
She is considered a national hero, a flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11 and the first to alert authorities about the hijackings.
"I will never forget what happened on that day until the end of my life," said her brother Harry Ong.
Harry reminded everyone not to forget the families of victims and survivors and paid respect to the victims who died in months and years following the attacks.
"Many more have been added to the total, of those hurt, those injured, those who are sick and those who are dying and those who have died," he said.
Some San Franciscans stand every year with firefighters as they honor sisters and brothers.
"It's heartbreaking, but they wouldn't have done anything else," said 9/11 memorial attendee Susan Moorehead. She has attended every 9/11 memorial at the Mission District's fire station 7 for 20 years.
"That’s why you have to do things like this, just read their names and let their families know they’re not forgotten."