GARDEN CITY, NY (WCBS 880) – Volunteerism is being honored at a new 9/11 exhibit at the Nassau County Firefighters Museum.

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It’s a testimonial, says executive director Alana Petraselli, to eighteen men who lost their lives on 9/11.

“It is about their lives. They didn’t just die that day. They were hockey players. They were fathers. They were friends. They were sons. They were people,” she told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs.

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They were members of the FDNY, NYPD, and EMTs, but at home, they were volunteer firefighters, says chief instructor John Murray.

“Although they were professionals at their jobs, when they came home at night, they were there to help protect their community,” he said.

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This is an emotional exhibit that celebrates life and heroic lives.

LINK: Nassau County Firefighters Museum

“They did die that day, but to many, they were heroes before that day, and we really want to remember them in that way their whole lives,” said Petraselli.

“People get upset when we say ‘We’ll never forget.’ They shouldn’t get upset. We shouldn’t forget, and we never will,” says Murray.

The firefighters museum is located inside the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City.

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Are you doing anything to pay tribute to the fallen heroes of 9/11? Let us know in the comments section below.