BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Members of the community and first responders gathered at the State Fire Marshal's Office Sunday to honor the lives lost 15 years ago on September 11, 2001.
As bells tolled in a somber ceremony for the nearly 3,000 victims of the terror attack, the Baton Rouge community paused to honor the selfless sacrifice of so many, including five people from Louisiana.
Of the five Louisiana victims, two were at the World Trade Centers on that dark day and three others were at the Pentagon, including 31-year-old Michael Scott Lamana, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.
Sunday morning, his father Mike Lamana said after all this time, the wounds inflicted on his family are still fresh.
"The grass is never quite as green, the sun not quite as bright. You walk a little slower, but you do pray so much harder," said Lamana.
Lamana said losing a child is one of the hardest things he has ever faced, a terrible tragedy and an unspeakable circumstance.
"Fishing trips never taken and a future grandchild never held. There will always be an empty chair at the dinner table," Lamana added.
Rather than dwell on everything that will never be the same, he finds comfort in knowing his son lived a full life.
"Scotty was doing what he wanted to do," Lamana said. "He did and liked what he was doing. He enjoyed and he lived more in 31 years than a lot of people live in their whole life."
It is why he is choosing to never forget the day so many lives were forever changed, fifteen Septembers ago.