COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) - In an evening of remembrance, families and friends gathered at the Columbia Convention Center to honor first responders in the Midlands.
Marking the 12th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Dawn Yamashiro reflected on that day when she learned of the horrible news of her brother being one of thousands killed in the twin towers.
"I didn't know which floor or where he was," said Yamashiro. "I was hoping he was at the dentist or something else."
Yamashiro said instead of going home, she decided to stay at school, because she didn't want to hear the bad news.
Two steel beams from the north World Trade Center Yamishiro's brother worked in are displayed at the First Responders Remembrance memorial at the Columbia Convention Center.
"It makes the memorial even more special," said Yamashiro.
Local firefighters also remembered the tragic day, with memories of watching the planes crash into the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon.
"As things started going bad," said Chief Mike Sonefeld with the Irmo Fire Department, "We had an idea of how many firemen they had on the ground, and the reality of what was about to happen was pretty sobering."
While many reflected on September 11, 2001, time was also spent remembering Richland County Deputy, Fargo, a K-9 who was shot last year during the line of duty.
"I think that's the importance of the stone, the sculpture, and the work. It is our collective memory," said Ron Clamp, owner of Memorial Design.
Families placed flowers at the newly unveiled memorial in remembrance of the fallen, and according to Chief Sonefeld, the Midlands has been fortunate enough by not having to add any names to the memorial this year.