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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Richard Loney was there in the chaos of 9/11. At the time, he was an American Red Cross volunteer.
"They moved us to ground zero as they call it now. We called it “The Pile” back in those days. Our main mission was to hand out drinks, refreshments, and food to people working on the pile," American Red Cross Volunteer Richard Loney said.
Out of the other volunteers he went with, he is now the only one living to share his story.
"From our Red Cross chapter, there were three of us that ended up working right at the pile of debris. There were a lot of other volunteers that went out there, but of us three, two have died from the contaminants that gave them cancer and all that sort of stuff," Loney explained.
Loney is also battling skin cancer. He doesn't regret being there.
However, every year his heart still gets a little heavy thinking about it all.
He and others planted American flags at the Law Enforcement Memorial on Wells Street.
"This is a very great honor to be here. They sacrifice just so we can enjoy our freedoms here at home. It's great to honor those people and to honor those who save us on a daily basis," Mike Patmore added.
Students at Franke Park Elementary also planted flags Wednesday part of their Patriot’s Week.
Students took time to plant 600 flags around the school to honor those who lost their lives 18 years ago and spent time with local veterans.
They had a moment of silence and had a presentation on 9/11.