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Local firefighters thanked on 20th anniversary of 9/11 with simple gesture

Adams County Fire Rescue Station 11
Posted at 4:49 PM, Sep 11, 2021

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. -- Every time firefighters walk through Adams County Fire Rescue Station 11, the tributes and newspaper clippings remind them of the sacrifices made now 20 years ago.

"I was a ninth-grader in high school when all this happened," firefighter/EMT Brandon Donner said Saturday.

Like most people, his eyes were glued to the television on Sept. 11, 2001.

"We just watched. We didn't even rotate classes," Donner recalled.

He didn't know then he'd be working as a first responder 20 years later, putting his life on the line to help others.

"I do this because I want to do this as a job. I enjoy doing it," he said.

Being a firefighter isn't easy, both physically and mentally.

That's why nonprofit Revital provides services and activities to help first responders' mental health.

"Revital is that outlet for some of us," Donner said.

And on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, that meant organizing a lunch catered by Denver restaurant group Bonanno Concepts. It's a simple gesture to remind Station 11's firefighters that people still care.

"They look at it as like, 'Hey, we're acknowledging you guys work real hard, and we want you to still know that we're here for you,'" Donner said.

As people around the country reflect on the last 20 years, Donner is looking forward, wishing our country could behave the way it did after the attacks.

"There's so much divisiveness with us now," he said. "But remember, on 9/11, when we all swore we'd never forget and we all swore where we'd stand together? We need to go back to that."