• David and Catherine Miller, parents of Nicole Miller, stand near items on display during a Sept. 11 memorial tribute at Chico Fire Station 1 on Salem Street in Chico on Tuesday. (Bill Husa/Staff Photo) <p class='dotPhoto'>All Chico E-R photos are available <a href='http://chicoer.mycapture.com/'>here</a>.</p>



CHICO — The father of a young woman who died on Flight 93 put his arm around his wife Tuesday while Chico firefighters stood in front of their station honoring those who died on Sept. 11.

“I have to hold back tears on this particular day,” David Miller of Chico said Tuesday. “I do miss her. She was the most wonderful person, friend and daughter.”

Nicole Carol Miller was 21 when she died near Shanksville, Penn.

At 7 a.m. and 10:10 a.m. Tuesday, Chico firefighters with grim expressions held tributes. David and Catherine Miller attend every year.

“We do find a lot of encouragement from the firefighters, how much they care about everyone,” the father said. “They”ve taken us in.”

Capt. Dave Main told the Millers he is grateful for what their daughter and other passengers did that day to stop their plane from getting to Washington D.C.

He and his fellow firefighters asked that people take a moment to remember the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and how many people didn”t return home that day — 2,977.

“It weighs on your mind,” Main said.

Capt. Bill Hack came to Station 1 at 7 a.m. Tuesday though he was off duty. He said he attends every year.

“Firefighters, police and civilians made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11,” Hack said. “We all pledged we would never forget. It”s important to remember those pledges.”

Firefighters raised the flag at each Chico station and listened to a statement read over the radio.

“On Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four airliners. Planes were intentionally crashed into each of the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, while the fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania when passengers bravely fought to retake control of their aircraft …”

Following the moment of silence, firefighters at Station 1 and 2 rang the station bell, three sets of five times in the customary manner for line-of-duty deaths, in memory of their fellow firefighters.

Fire inspector Marie Fickert said the year following the attacks, a few New York firefighters visited Chico.

“It was just heartbreaking to hear their personal stories,” Fickert said.

For months, the firefighters were either working to recover human remains at ground zero or attending funerals, she said.

“It was devastating.”

Connect with Katy Sweeny at 896-7760, ksweeny@chicoer.com, or on Twitter @KatySweeny.

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