Posted: 6:15 p.m.
Marianne Pyburn Mojtal takes this day off every year to remember the 24 people she knew who were killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Pyburn was a receptionist on the 14th floor in one of the Twin Towers seven years before 9/11.
"It was like the best job I ever had in my life," Pyburn said.
But after the attacks, Pyburn's life would never be the same.
"I just got a cup of coffee, turned, looked at the TV, and just saw the second plane hit the south tower, and I just fell to my knees," Pyburn said.
The images of the Twin Towers in flames, collapsing, are also hard to forget for many locals of all ages.
"It's just unbelievable that that could even happen," said Michelle Perez, who was in first grade on 9/11.
"Shocked. Shocked that somebody would do that. I lost a lot of friends in the towers," said DJ Penbrook, who was an electrician for the Twin Towers.
What Penbrook helped build up, he saw come down.
"And to see it in rubbles, it was like somebody slapping you in the side of the head, it was just terrible, terrible, terrible. And you could smell death in the air, right there at Ground Zero."
On this 12th anniversary of 9/11, locals pause to remember the moment the world changed in such a personal way.
Wednesday, the City of Yuma unveiled a memorial that includes an I-beam recovered from the Twin Towers.
The City requested it from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2009 and had to meet requirements.
Pyburn said seeing a piece of the Twin Towers in Yuma brings her a step closer to healing.
"When I do go home, it will be a hard thing to get onto that ferry and not see the sight I used to see," she said while holding up a picture of the Twin Towers. "This is what it always looked like."
"I was very, very lucky that I didn't lose anybody in my family. But, I could feel their pain. They're not just buildings. They're people."
The public memorial is located at the Yuma Fire Station No. 1 on Giss Parkway and 3rd Avenue.
Across town at Yuma Fire Station No. 2, a fire captain from YFD continues a tradition remembering the fallen firefighters.
Every year since that fateful day you'll find, flags sway in the breeze on the lawn at Yuma Fire Station No 2.
The 343 represents the lives of firefighters lost on 9/11.
"On that day, 343 firefighters were killed,” said Evancho. “They were going in while everybody was trying to get out. And that's what they do ... It's a public service job."
Evancho says he and his daughter started this tradition at the fire station.
As far away as we are from ground zero, Evancho says the loss hits just as a close to home.
"The bagpipes that we hear and the memorials that we go to, those are all terribly sad things,” said Evancho. “I think every firefighter that signs up for this job [knows] the imminent danger that's involved."
While it's a silent tribute to those who lost their lives, the response is loud and clear.
"A lot of times when we're putting these flags up,” explained Evancho, “people will drive by and honk their horns when they see us doing it."
Twelve years later, condolences remain deep.
"We care about each other we work together,” said Evancho. "It's one big family. So if somebody loses one somewhere else we feel it."