'It's the place I'd want to be on Sept. 11'

'It's the place I'd want to be on Sept. 11' »Play Video
Joel Lira and Anthony Bucher

EUGENE, Ore. - Eugene firefighters Joel Lira and Anthony Bucher spent a week in New York City after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"Being there brought it to life," Bucher said.

They went to funerals - sometimes three in one day - serving on the honor guard and supporting families of their fallen brethren.

The two took a moment to share their memories with KVAL News this week.

"I think one of the things that went through my mind as I was there and when I came back was how fortunate we are to have to have our families intact and have our lives intact," Lira said.

"It definitely brings back the memories of the time there and the smells and visions and the scenes that we saw," Bucher said. "I don't think it's anything we ever forget."

Lira was so inspired by New York firefighters, he started a pipes and drums band in Eugene. The tradition is more commonly found among firefighters on the East Coast.

"That brings us back," he said. "That brings us back to what we saw and heard that day and allows us to carry the tradition on."

"I can be anywhere doing anything and hear a bagpipe or hear one of those songs and it just stops me each time," Bucher said. "It brings back pictures or faces or people walking behind engines on city streets."

On Sunday, Lira will mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks by playing the bagpipes at the department's memorial service.

Bucher will be working.

"It's the place I'd want to be on Sept. 11, with my brothers and stuff at the fire house," he said. "We reflect in our own way."

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