New recruits at Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue reflect on impact of 9/11

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WBAY) -- Wednesday marks 18 years since the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

More than 400 first responders died at the World Trade Center as they worked to help other victims.

Inside of the City of Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue Station on South Main Street, the date weighs on two new firefighters in training.

"I was actually in high school, and I remember it was in between classes," said Dusten Hilgendorf, a new recruit with the City of Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue. "Everybody was kind of like, 'What's going on?'"

"I remember catching a glimpse of something happening and seeing one of the towers on fire," said Nathan Wilson, a new recruit with the City of Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue. "I think at that point, that was one of the times that the other plane hit the other tower."

While cameras captured the devastation and tragedy of the events on September 11, 2001, they also displayed the heroic sacrifices made by emergency crews at the scene.

"9/11 played a big role in what I decided I wanted to do with my career," said Hilgendorf.

The events of that day sparked a sense of patriotism across the country, and both Hilgendorf and Wilson take that sense of national pride with them out with them on every call.

"You come to live with the idea of, you know, I might not make it back today, but it's the idea of I'm here to honor a bigger cause," said Wilson.

They say that bigger cause is serving the community and the country.

"We come into work not looking for a pat on the back," said Hilgendorf. "We come into work not looking for gratitude. We come into work to do our job on a daily basis, to help the community."

"I come here to serve the guy next to me, or the girl next to me, or the person who's having their worst day," said Wilson.

Wilson adds the tragic events that happened on this day nearly two decades ago need to be remembered not just on September 11, but every day of the year.