PORTLAND -- Four Portland firefighters will head to New York this week, for the 9/11 10-year anniversary memorials at Grand Zero.
Tommy Schroeder and Justin de Ruyter have been saving up for years so they, and two fellow firefighters, can make the trip.
"Just knowing the bond that we have with all firefighters worldwide, it just made me want to go back and show my respect for those lives that were lost," said Schroeder. "To show that we're thinking about them and that they won't be forgotten."
De Ruyter can't forget the moment he heard the news.
"September 11th changed everybody's lives in America. We went to the station and watched the news unfold that day. That was a very sobering moment."
In all, 343 firefighters died on September 11th. As thousands of New Yorkers ran from the flames, the firefighters rushed in, saving countless Americans and searing into the mind of de Ruyter a sense of pride and humility.
"We got in this job knowing that we could potentially die, there might be that ultimate sacrifice and the bond is that nobility of that act. I said from the very beginning I wanted to go back for the 10-year."
Schroeder and de Ruyter will leave Wednesday, en route for New York City.