By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphians paused and reflected outside the Betsy Ross House in Old City on Friday, where a 9-11 Memorial Processional and Ceremony "To the Fallen" was held.
Philadelphia city officials, firefighters and police remembered the civilians who lost their lives, but the focus of the event surrounded the 343 New York City firefighters and paramedics, 23 NYPD officers and 37 Port Authority 1st responders who perished. They sounded a single memorial bell for each group.
Betsy Ross House Director Lisa Aker Moulder recalls in the days after the attacks, Philadelphians, not just tourists, were drawn to the Betsy Ross House to be reminded about the "symbolism of the American flag, and the desire to show their patriotism."
"Above all, it reminded us that the military, first responders and civilians who risked their lives to help others are our true heroes," Moulder says, "not athletes and movie stars."
She says their "selfless acts remain unparalleled."
Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer says "remembering together makes us stronger."
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says we "should also recognize and remember" those in the services "who sacrificed their lives since then, fighting two different wars, as a result of what happened that day." He was Police Chief in Washington D.C. then.
Mayor Michael Nutter says 9-11 "shook America to its core," and he says no one should be "embarrassed to acknowledge there was fear that day about what was going on, or what could happen next."
But, he says America is stronger, safer and more ready today that we've ever been.
for more features.