Oregon firefighters in New York for 9/11 remembrance ceremonies - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon firefighters in New York for 9/11 remembrance ceremonies

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(Courtesy: Tualatin Valley Firefighters Union) (Courtesy: Tualatin Valley Firefighters Union)
(KPTV) -

More than 340 firefighters lost their lives 15 years ago on Sept. 11, and this weekend, local firefighters are in New York City, visiting Ground Zero and paying their respects to our nation’s fallen heroes.

Fifty-two firefighters from the Tualatin Valley Firefighters Union are walking the streets where hundreds of their fellow firefighters lost their lives in 2001.

"Even though it happened 15 years ago, when people share their story, it's as if it happened yesterday, that's how real that emotion has been," said Lt. Ryan Stenhouse. "It has certainly given me goosebumps several times on this trip."

Whether they were spending hours at the 9/11 museum or meeting with FDNY firefighters, who experienced the devastation first hand, Stenhouse and firefighter Lee Trotter were taking in every moment.

"To be here, it has been extremely humbling," said Stenhouse. "It's been a very unique opportunity for us to better understand what this city went through and the recovery 15 years later."

Though there are 3,000 miles between Portland and New York City, local firefighters hope to bring back some of the emotional experiences of their trip, like a tearful chance meeting in a café.

"A gentleman who was there with his daughter had a blue ribbon, and that signifies someone who lost somebody that day," said Trotter. "He noticed the patch on our shoulder, came over and asked where we're from. I mentioned we're from Portland, Oregon and almost immediately he broke down in tears. For me, that was pretty emotional."

Much like the striking images from Sept. 11, 2001, it is a trip that will stay with them forever.

"At the end of the day we see it, and read it, and hear it, but we can never forget," said Stenhouse. 

The group arrived in New York on Thursday. Each of the union members paid their own way. 

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