CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago first responders paid tribute to counterparts who lost their lives in New York on this day 14 years ago, at a solemn ceremony outside Chicago Public Safety Headquarters.

Two firetrucks and an ambulance parked at 35th Street and Michigan Avenue, a tower ladder truck hoisting an American flag in the air as uniformed firefighters and police officers stood at attention in a light drizzle.

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At 7:46 a.m., they held silent salute to mark the time in Chicago when the first plane hit the World Trade Center on 9/11.

“This is this generation’s Pearl Harbor. It scarred America forever on that day. We lost people all across the spectrum on that day, and yes we did lose a lot of first responders that went up there,” Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago said. “I like to go over the numbers all the time to remind myself of 343 firefighters. We had 60 police officers who also lost their lives that day, eight EMTs.”

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Santiago recalled loading up trucks that morning to head to New York to help the recovery effort.

“As soon as it happened, we started mobilizing to get ready to send a team out to New York and help our brothers and sisters, and I remember I kept looking at what is now known as the Willis Tower – because you could see it from our Fire Academy – as we were preparing our trucks and gear and everything to go out and help them,” he said. “You kept looking at that building, and you’re thinking about those men and women that are running up and down those stairs.”

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A lot of people in Chicago in Chicago that day also were looking up at the Sears Tower, wondering if it would be next.