WAUKEE, Iowa (WHO) — Across the state different groups hosted memorial events to honor the thousands of American lives lost 21 years ago today.

The March to the Capitol started in St. Louis, MO, but this is the third year that it is happening in the metro. The walk is 21 miles long and starts in Waukee and ends at the Iowa statehouse. Two firefighters walk the route dressed in firefighter gear to honor the brave first responders who lost their lives.

“343 firefighters lost their lives that day and many more in the aftermath of 9/11 from working in the rubble pile,” said Michael Dunkin a West Des Moines Firefighter. “There was a time I had this one little girl ask me…looked me right in the eye and she goes, ‘I don’t know how you do your job’. And it kind of hit me in the chest…what I told her is I think about the people that we’re going to help and the people that I’m working with.”

WHO 13 caught up with Dunkin in mile four of the walk at fire station 22 in West Des Moines. Cars were honking in salute and support of the marchers on University Avenue. For Dunkin the walk is considered a public service.

“The President ordered it as a day of remembrance and kindness to do a good act,” said Dunkin. “So this is our good act, to get out and bring awareness and show other people that service is important. That we won’t stop. We will never quit. And whenever the bell rings, people will come and answer that call.”

The walk is estimated to be 7 hours and 45 minutes long by Dunkin with stops at different fire stations all the way down to the capitol.

“It’s a real blessing to be able to serve,” said Dunkin.