SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sunday marks 21 years since the September 11th terror attacks that rocked our nation.

More than two decades on, commemoration ceremonies took place across the county, including in Sacramento.

Elected representatives, active service members, veterans, police, firefighters, and the public joined at the Cal Expo 9/11 Memorial Sunday to pay tribute to the 2,996 people who perished in the attacks.

Gil Sanborn was the keynote speaker. Now serving as a civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army, Sanborn was in New York City on 9/11, and was very close when the planes hit the towers.

“We felt the first impact, [and] had no idea it was an aircraft,” Gil Sanborn said. “At 9:03 [a.m.], when we were in that same location, we saw, felt, and heard the second plane hit the south tower….”

“We weren’t attacked by a religion or ethnicity,” Sanborn said. “We were attacked by hatred. That hatred came about from ignorance and intolerance. It’s important for us in our own positions for ignorance not to result in hatred or intolerance.”

Sunday’s ceremony included a tolling of the bells to honor the victims.

Sacramento Police Officers also took part in a special reading of the names of all the New York Police Department Officers who died in the attacks.

While not at the Cal Expo memorial on Sunday, firefighters fighting the Mosquito Fire also paid their respects to those who lost their lives on 9/11.

The firefighters held a moment of silence and remembrance on the 21st anniversary of the attacks.