It was 18 years ago when American Airlines flight 77 struck the west side of the Pentagon. One hundred and eighty-seven people died in the attack.

On this September 11th, friends and family took part in the solemn annual tradition of honoring the fallen.

Among the attendees were a group of New York’s bravest from Harlem.

"It was about a five-hour trip," said Allan Grdovich of the FDNY's Ladder 14. "We left from the fire house around 1:30, 2 o'clock in the morning."


The firefighters honored the lives lost at the Pentagon while also remembering two of their chiefs who died in the 2001 attacks.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the group moved quickly, retrieving an item lovingly transported from their firehouse.

"It weighs a little bit," said Robert Brunone of the FDNY's Rescue 5.

With precision and a little improvisation, this group was keeping a rather big promise.

Six feet by 75 feet, every inch of it telling a story of tragedy and resilience, a banner with roots in the very shadow of the World Trade Center site. When firefighters hung it up for the world to see, a sign that New Yorkers always rise up.

The banner is now under the care of Engine 35, Ladder 14, Batallion 12, who decided to bring it from New York to the Pentagon. Next year, the plan is to take it to Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

After the banner makes its way to Pennsylvania, the firefighters tell me they hope on the 20th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy, they hope to give this banner to the 9/11 Memorial Museum so that it can be forever kept as a reminder of what happened that day.

"We felt it was this sort of mission to get it to the other sites, so now if we can get it to Shanksville next year, the 20th anniversary of the Trade Center where it started, we’ll be satisfied that we’ll have accomplished what we wanted," Brunone said.

A promise kept, a mission still in progress, a memory that is never forgotten.