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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A number of ceremonies were held across Miami-Dade on Wednesday to mark the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the United States Pentagon.

At Tropical Park on Bird Road, Miami-Dade Police and Fire Rescue hosted a “We Will Never Forget” remembrance ceremony for police officers and firefighters killed in the attacks.  Of the more than 3,000 people who died, nearly 350 were New York City police officers and firefighters who sacrificed their lives when the World Trade Center Towers collapsed around them.

“The greatest gift we can give them today is the gift of remembrance,” said Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson. “Never, ever forgetting the heroes that day. Their sacrifices for their country and for us all.”

Guest speakers at the event included Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson and Fire Chief Dave Downy.

“I think events like this help us always remember,” said Miami-Dade Fire Chief Dave Downey. “The theme is to never forget. And I hope that everyone never forgets and always remembers the sacrifices that were made and the tragedies that occurred on that day.”

The City of Miami Police Department dedicated a new light sculpture “Grace” which pays tribute to the men and women who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

The sculpture, located on the second floor of the Miami Police College on NW 2nd Avenue, was created by the Italian artist Pietro Costa. It was donated to the department by Father Jose Luis Menendez, Pastor of Corpus Christi Catholic Church.

At the Miami Rescue Mission, a group of 15 Army volunteers plan to serve lunch to the homeless as part of the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.

In 2009, Congress designated September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance under bipartisan federal law, and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with helping to support this effort across the country.

“This effort first established the inspiring tradition of engaging in charitable service on 9/11 as an annual and forward-looking tribute to the 9/11 victims, survivors, and those who rose up in service in response to the attacks” according a statement from the mission.

At South Miami Senior High School, the Junior R.O.T.C. held a commemoration ceremony.

At Miami Dade College’s (MDC) North Campus a special ceremony was held to remember those who died in the attacks and reveal the new permanent homes for two steel artifacts from the World Trade Center.

“The dedication’s theme – solemnity, reflection, and poignancy – is very befitting of the honor bestowed upon our campus with two steel artifacts from the World Trade Center,” said José A. Vicente, president of the North Campus in a statement. “These memorials will provide our students and the community with a place to reflect upon the horrific events of Sept. 11, and also serve to educate future generations. They are a piece of history, a remembrance of all those who perished.”

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey donated the two steel beams to MDC in 2011. The College is the only higher-education institution in Florida to have received these important relics from the WTC.


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