Thirteen years after the attacks on 9/11, the images are still very vivid for anyone who witnessed them. Whether it was on TV or in person, almost everyone can recall the sight of an airliner crashing into the World Trade Center. The image is ingrained in our minds.
But it's not only that horrific image we remember. In the subsequent minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years since the attacks of 9/11, we've seen countless stories and photos of hope and triumph. We've watched firefighters raise an American flag in the middle of Ground Zero before the dust even settled, and we've seen a stunning memorial and museum erected in the heart of tragedy.
3,000 miles away from Ground Zero, here in Spokane, one of those images that always evokes a sense of pride and patriotism is that of a sole firefighter, standing on a hill in Liberty Park next to I-90 waving a flag throughout the day.
For 12 years straight, Spokane Firefighter Alex Mickschl has walked up the hill next to the Interstate with his flag and waved it proudly for everyone driving by to see.
Alex is a veteran and was new to the Spokane Fire Department when the attacks happened, so he couldn't pick up and leave to New York to help, but wanted a way show his love for his brothers and sisters in firefighting, as well as his country.
"The reason I'm out here is to have everybody remember what happened that day and the sacrifices so many have made since then," Mickschl told KHQ on Thursday.
Over the years, Mickschl says the reaction has remained consistent.
"People honk their horns, people wave and that's a good thing. That's what I'm out here to do. For people to see the flag and remember the day and hopefully they'll go home and they'll thank a veteran or they'll thank a firefighter or police officer and do something good on a day that a lot of people see as a terrible day."
Every year, it's a day for Mickschl to remember and reflect, while showing love for the people he works with and the county he loves.
"I just want people to know that this [the American flag] is why I'm out here. I'm not out here for me. I'm out here for all of my brothers and sisters. I'm out here for John Knighten and his family. I'm out here for the [Spokane}Valley guys too. Mark Normington and his family."