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Community honors Roanoke first responders on 9/11 anniversary

Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 5:28 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - In Roanoke, firefighters and other first responders were honored Friday. They also put up a giant American Flag to stand with those who died on September 11, 2001.

19 years ago, Travis Meader watched the television as 343 firefighters' lives were taken in a terrorist attack. He was 26. A few years later, he decided to become a firefighter for Roanoke Fire-EMS.

“It wasn’t the sole purpose of me going into this job, but it did have a contributing factor, due to the nature, due to it being on our homeland, coming from a military background, it sure did push me that way,” Travis Meador, First Lieutenant with Roanoke Fire-EMS, said.

Friday, on the anniversary of 9/11, the community honored Meader and the other Roanoke firefighters--handing them free food to show their appreciation.

“Just showing the support, just having that gesture means a lot, it shows us that we’re still being thought about and they respect us and they understand the job that we do every day and put ourselves in harms way," Meador said.

Other firefighters and first responders were then given free Mission BBQ lunches at Towers Plaza.

“It’s very humbling just to be associated with the heroes and first responders of the incident on 9/11,″ Jake Moles, an officer with the Roanoke City Police Department, said.

Moles says 9/11 directed his career path.

“I think that day in particular really shaped me as a person and really pushed me towards a career in serving the public," he said.

These responders also put up a giant American Flag in front of Mission BBQ--a tradition they’ve been doing since it opened in 2014.

“To remember their sacrifices, it’s a very humbling experience," Moles said.

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