Three hundred forty three northern California firefighters gathered at 801 K Street in Sacramento. At a little after 8 a.m., they made way for bagpipes and color guard. Chris Manibusan is with the Sacramento Fire Department. He had a lanyard around his neck with a name. He held a piece of paper with a black and white picture and a man's life story.
"This is Lieutenant Andrew Desperito," Manibusan said. "He had three children, a lovely wife. He worked for the police department for a little while, but he wanted to be with FDNY. That was his ultimate dream. He got there, became a lieutenant, and...you know..."
Desperito died when the World Trade Center buildings collapsed.
After a brief ceremony, Manibusan and 342 others carried lanyards and pictures up and down nearly 110 flights of stairs -the same number climbed by New York firefighters 13 years ago today.
Sacramento Fire Deputy Chief Lloyd Ogan watched on television that day as his friend Ray Downey entered the World Trade Center. He carries his friend's name and picture every year.
"The first thing I think about when I'm climbing those stairs is my friend Ray and some other friends I lost that day," said Ogan. "So, that's...that's a lot of my reflection coming up the stairs."
After the firefighters climbed the 110 flights, they hung the lanyards at a 9-11 memorial that had been placed at the top of the building for this occasion. Then each saluted, rang a bell and promised to never forget.
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