Sep 11, 2010 10:58 PM by John Romero
As the names of 135 fallen firefighters and emergency medical personnel are read at the Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service, friends and family remember their fallen heroes. Perhaps none more than Lt. James Joyce, a New York City firefighter who experienced first hand the horrors of the September 11th attacks. "That was the most difficult day I ever spent on the job." he says, barely able to get the words out through his tears.
Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives as a result of the attacks, including 343 New York City firefighters. Lt. Joyce was supposed to be off that day but responded as soon as the attacks happened. "Watching people jump from the building and land. And watching so many people lose their lives, even innocent people, not just the fire fighters and police officers. It was a very traumatic day." he says. Those images are forever engrained in Lt. Joyce's memories. "It rips the heart out of you when you think about it." he explains, "Not a day goes by when I don't think about that day and the people I lost."
On the 9th anniversary of those attacks, Lt. Joyce and thousands of others come to Colorado Springs to remember those who gave their lives. Being a New York City firefighter, Lt. Joyce is used to compliments and admiration from others, but says he and his crew just did the same thing any other fire fighter would have in a situation like 9-11. "You know people always come up to me and say you guys are the best. It's not that we're the best. It could have happened in here, in Denver, Chicago or Los Angeles and every one of these guys would have done the same thing we did." he explains "And it's still the greatest job in the world."
One of those names added to this year's memorial at Memorial Park belongs to Littleton, CO fire fighter Jeffery Christ. He passed on December 30, 2009.