Thirteen years later, Toms River Fire Company Number One paid homage to fellow first responders and civilians killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks during an Anniversary Remembrance downtown, at the corner of Washington and Robbin's Streets. 

Toms River Fire Company #1, 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony/photo by Dianne DeOliveira, TSM

Former Fire Chief John Gonzalez helped organize the event and said it's important to keep the memory of the tragedy fresh each year. "The phrase 9/11 has almost just become a cliche that people say it so frequently without really thinking about what happened," he said.

John Gonzalez & Assistant Chief John Genovese/photo by Dianne DeOliveira, TSM

Assistant Fire Chief John Genovese echoed that sentiment. "Fire service is a brotherhood, it's a tight-knit family. We will always do this in keeping our fellow brothers and sisters memories' alive. He added it's also important to remember those serving our country and fighting terrorism.

"It makes us consider what's really important and the reality that you don't know what any given day is going to bring and you need to live life to the fullest each day," said Gonzalez.

The ceremony included the raising of the American Flag, a showing of a piece of steel from the World Trade Center shaped like a cross, the sounding of the Firemen's Bell in a sequence of 5 rings, four times. The terminology of the signal 5-5-5-5 remains a part of the FDNY lexicon to announce the passing of a member whether currently on the job or retired.

Firemen's Bell/ Photo by Dianne DeOliveira, TSM

The ceremony included clergy, politicians and members of the Toms River Police Department.

Steel Cross from WTC Site/photo by Dianne DeOliveira, TSM