9/11 Memorial Ceremony

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On this day at 10 a.m. on September 11th, 2001, Battalion Chief Joseph Pfeifer ordered all firefighters to evacuate the inferno engulfing the north tower of the World Trade Center, a radio order he issued while still standing in the burning building.

Seventeen years later, those who protect us on our home front and abroad gathered at the Seabee Base in Gulfport for a remembrance and memorial ceremony in honor of those who risked and lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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“This month marks the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.”

Naval Construction Battalion Center Fire Chief Mark Henson said, “I’m originally from upstate New York, but I did not know anybody that was there that day that I was aware of. I had just gotten off duty that morning and when I got home, I grabbed my cup of coffee, turned the TV on, and that’s when I saw.”

Master of Ceremony James Brown said, “The candle burning is resemblance of the purity and loss of life to show the respect. We placed a cover for each branch of service to include firemen, firefighters, policemen, and EMS. Some of those folks gave everything and some didn’t come back that day.”

“Saw some of the most horrific, but some of the best times in America.  Horrific because of the loss of life, but best times because it brought out the best in America and brought us together and reminded us that we’re all chasing the American dream together,” said Chief Henson.

Seabees and others also rolled up their sleeves today after the memorial ceremony to give blood to the American Red Cross.

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned.... If you’d like to book a live in studio interview on News 25 Today, just email: tmiles@wxxv25.com. These interviews can have up to two guests, last about two minutes and showcase community events, non-profit organizations and things of interest to people in our area…and they’re FREE! Just send information about your event, including date, time, location, contact number and/or website for viewers wanting more information, along with the proper name and titles of the person or two people who will be interviewed, and Toni or producer Porsha Williams (pwilliams@wxxv25.com) will get back with you via email in a timely manner to book a date. Typical interview times are daily at: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 am. Guests are asked to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand. You can also ask about booking a live shot on location for news events for our 6 and 7 am newscasts. We look forwarding to having you!