SHANKSVILLE, Pa. (WTAJ) – Sept. 11 is a day that Americans will never forget. For emergency crews who responded, it’s something that lives on in their memory, the images for some still so real, so vivid.

The Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department was the first fire crew on scene for flight 93.

The former chief continues to share his story from that day because he wants to make sure that these 40 heroes are never forgotten

A sea of flags wave in front of the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department, a display put up every year honoring the heroes of Sept. 11, 2001.

It was 20-years-ago. The day had sunny, blue skies.

First responders would experience a sight not even nightmares are made of.

“You couldn’t dream of something that bad. That would be even…that would be a really bad nightmare,” Fire Chief Terry Shaffer said.

His crew was the first fire department to respond to a call about a plane down. It was a call that you could say was out of the ordinary.

“We always thought our big call would be something on the turnpike with a bus or something, but never anything like this,” Shaffer said.

Chilling moments right before United Flight 93 crashed in the Shanksville field came from the passengers calling home to their spouses, their children, and their loved ones.

It would be the final resting place for 40 brave and heroic passengers and crew members who stopped terrorists from reaching our nation’s capital. The damage is truly unforgettable.

Investigators spent weeks and long days piecing together exactly what happened.
This site would soon become one of the longest-held crime scenes in Pennsylvania’s history.

For a small town to see such devastation, it was a trying time. We saw heroes inspire our nation and in return, we saw this small community come together.

Memorabilia still line the walls inside the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department. “That’s a piece of glass from the world trade center,” the chief tells us.

There is also a patriotic display honoring heroes. It sits in front of the first fire department to respond to the flight 93 crash site as a beautiful tribute.

May we never forget those brave men and women. May we never forget those first responders