TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-Wednesday marks the 12th year anniversary of the September 11th attacks that shook the United States to its core.
Lights and sirens went off outside Topeka High School as police officers and firemen walked onto school grounds.
Students paused for a moment of silence to remember September 11th and to honor those who work every day to keep Americans safe.
"Even 12 years later during the ceremony, listening to some of the stories being recounted it kind of made me choke up a bit honestly," said Emily Daigler, Junior ROTC member at Topeka High School.
"I think it shows that even though we are high school students we can still recognize significant events in American history," says Madeleine Pershall, Junior ROTC member at Topeka High School.
At Topeka West High School, U.S. Army Junior ROTC members saluted the American flag to remember the attacks.
"I look at it more of a rather than it just feeling sorry and sad for what happen, more as a call to take action and do something," says Lt. Col. Richard Hodgson, Senior Army Instructor at Topeka West High School.
Those who work in emergency management say the 9/11 anniversary is a reminder of the need to be vigilant.
"I think its made people aware that we are not impenetrable, we can be a victim, and we have to be ready. The things that they say can't happen will happen," says Dave Sterbenz, Emergency Management Coordinator.
Students say they are prepared for the future, but will never forget how far America has come.
"America never has and never will be down for long," says Hodgson.