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Memorial at Salem Fire-EMS honors 343 firefighters killed on 9/11

Members of the Salem-Fire EMS department gathered around the memorial and read aloud the names of the 343 firefighters who died on September 11, 2001 on its 16th anniversary (Photo: City of Salem)

SALEM, Va. (WSET) -- Two fire stations in our area have pieces of the World Trade Center.

One, is at the Danville Fire Department and the other is at the Salem Fire-EMS.

The memorial in Salem show the names that represent a firefighter who died on September 11, 2001.

The Salem fire department gathered around their piece of the twin towers rubble to read those names remembering where they were 16 years ago Monday.

"I was in the station. I was assigned to station 1, engine 1. We had some training that day. We saw the initial plane go into the building. Again, we did not know the significance. We went out to do our training. Our captain came out a little later to tell us what was going on. We had no idea," said Salem Fire-EMS Chief John Prillaman.

Chief Prillamen said seeing the piece impacts him every day.

"One of the things we wanted the memorial here for is to train our rookies about what the 9/11, September 11, 2001 really meant, so that 10 years, 50 years, 100 years down the road, as people come by they don't think it's just a work of art- they can explain what happened that day and keep that memory of those people," he said.

A lot of the new recruits were just toddlers when it happened.

Chief Prillamen says that's why they talk about September 11 the very first day of training.

Members of the Salem-Fire EMS department gathered around the memorial and read aloud the names of the 343 firefighters who died on September 11, 2001.

Since then, almost 1,000 additional firefighters have died as a result of September 11. That's because while rescuing people from the Twin Towers, they breathed in toxins and other debris, causing cancer and different illnesses. Every day, the fire department remembers those firefighters as well

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