'We realized we were under attack': Firefighter who was at Ground Zero remembers 9/11

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Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019
News 12 at 6 O'Clock

Sept. 11 tributes went on across the nation and the river region Wednesday. (Source: WRDW)

COLUMBIA COUNTY, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Sept. 11 tributes went on across the nation and the river region Wednesday. People paused for a moment of silence at the Military Memorial in Columbia County to remember those who lost their lives. Many still remember the day 18 years ago, including FDNY firefighter Serge Burack.

“I was technically off-duty that day. When the attacks happened, it was the first time in the history of the FDNY we had a total recall, so all off-duty personnel responded back into the city," Burack said.

Burack remembered what it was like on the scene at Ground Zero.

“Confusion at first. We thought it was an ordinary response. And then shortly there after we realized we were under attack," Burack said.

Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives that day. Some of them were Burack’s brothers in uniform.

“Certainly last, but not least, 343 brothers and sisters of the FDNY,” Burack said. “Not only my brothers in the fire department that I lost -- I lost neighbors -- some neighbors where I lived on Long Island.”

Burack and many others on Wednesday gathered to honor those lives lost.

“It's so inspiring to see a local community come together and remember those that were lost on that terrible day, but also those that continue to fight for us," Eric Toler, executive director of the Georgia Cyber Center, said.

It's still a day Burack and many others will never forget.

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