Memphis remembers first responders killed on 9/11

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- It was not easy for many to think about what happened 15 years ago.

Lucas and William, who played dress up in firefighter costumes, could not put it into words.

The children were not born in 2001 but know the first responders killed on 9/11 were brave.

"Fire department you dial 911," William Russell said.

The brothers' parents have brought them to the 9/11 memorial since they were babies.

"To remind them that when dad's away from home that this is why -- that he's serving and protecting," Kirsten Russell said.

"It was just an event that I never thought would happen," John Russell said.

Three hundred forty-three firefighters, 60 police officers, and eight paramedics were all killed in the line of duty while responding to the September 11th terror attacks.

"I remember waking up to the news and seeing the plane hit the second tower, and it's a day that I'll never forget," Kristen Russell said.

Sunday, they remembered.

First responders, city leaders and people who live in Shelby County honored the fallen heroes and prayed for those who risk their lives every day.

"It is our prayer that you give us to be safe, to be mindful, to be strong."

"It's the firefighters and the police officers that put their lives out there. They are away from their families, and they're in harm's way. They're doing it to save somebody that they don't know," Kristen Russell said.

It's quality this mom instills in her young boys as they plan to walk in the boots of the men and women who came before them.

"I grow up I want to be a firefighter," Lucas Russell said.