Greensboro, N.C. - Nearly three thousand people died in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Watching the events unfold inspired numerous Americans to fight back.
Sergeant First Class David Cyr was in the National Guard when the planes crashed into the towers.
He visited Ground Zero several months later and saw something that changed his life forever.
"As we were standing there and observing Ground Zero, we witnessed them recovering two of the last bodies that were found. That evening, I informed my family that I was going to reenlist," Sergeant Cyr said.
Six months later, Sergeant Cyr was in Afghanistan. He was later deployed to Iraq twice.
"I am happy with my commitment. I want to share my experiences with as many people as I can so they understand the sacrifices that we do make. I wouldn't change my decisions," Sergeant Cyr said.
One of Sergeant Cyr's closest friends, Cheech, was a paramedic in New York. He drove under the first tower to try and rescue people.
"While they were there, the tower collapsed on top of them. They were all buried alive for what we know now was 18 hours...They took an American flag and actually marked what they thought was going to be their tomb with that flag," he said.
Someone dug them out of the rubble and saved their lives. Cheech gave Sergeant Cyr the flag.
It still hangs on his wall. Cheech has since passed away.
"We have to remember. We have to keep going forward," Sergeant Cyr said. "They made sacrifices so I could continue to live free and so my wife and daughter can be free Americans. It's my way to honor the sacrifices they made and to continue to carry that torch into the future."
Sergeant Cyr's wife is a New York City Police Officer. He says she still has vivid memories of being in New York twelve years ago.