PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Portland Fire & Rescue is planning a memorial in southeast Portland to honor firefighters who have lost their lives.

Fire officials spoke to a crowd in front of the Hawthorne Fire Station Wednesday morning about the planned Portland Firefighter Memorial during their 9/11 ceremony.

The Portland Firefighter Association says it is still raising funds for the memorial, which will honor Portland firefighters who died in the line of duty and from service-related illnesses and diseases.

The ceremony Wednesday included the color guard presenting the American flag, two moments of silence, and a ceremonial bell-ringing for the nearly 3,000 firefighters who lost their lives Sept. 11, 2001.

Lt. Neil Martin with Portland Fire & Rescue is one of five local firefighters who traveled to Ground Zero just days after the September 11 attacks to help with recovery efforts. He says he attended Wednesday’s ceremony to remind people why they should never forget.

“I like to come to things like this because I want people to remember what happened, but for me, it’s very real and very sad, and a friend of mine who we went there for, Bill, didn’t make it 10 years because of a 9/11 illness, and I’ll always remember that,” Martin said.

Fire officials say hundreds of people who were at Ground Zero in the aftermath continue to lose their lives because of 9/11-related illnesses.

At Wednesday’s ceremony, Portland Fire & Rescue said service-related illnesses are becoming a harsh reality in their field, which is why they’re building the new memorial.

The agency says in Portland, 36 firefighters have died in the line of duty; 37 more have died of service-connected illnesses or diseases, like occupational cancer.

The Portland Firefighter Association will begin construction on the memorial once it has raised enough money.

RELATED: 18 years later, America vows to 'Never Forget' 9/11


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