CBS 2 - September 05, 2011NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- On the Sunday before the 9/11 anniversary, it has become a tradition to remember Father Mychal Judge, an FDNY chaplain killed while doing his sworn duty. For the ninth year in a row, firefighters, 9/11 family members, and friends honored Judge by following the route he took on the tragic day.
Judge, the first recorded victim of 9/11, was killed in the North Tower lobby while administering last rites to 9/11 victims.
"He had a great presence about him," Peter Micheels told CBS 2's Ann Mercogliano. "Certainly he gave some people comfort, the fact that he was there."
The tribute began with a Mass at St. Francis of Assisi and ended on Liberty Street in front of FDNY Engine 10, Ladder 10.
Organizer Detective Steven McDonald, who befriended Judge after being shot and paralyzed as a young police officer, talked about the approaching 10th anniversary.
"I think 10 years have come and gone and they still feel very real to many of us," he said.
Same goes for 9/11 family member Rosemary Cain who lost her firefighter son George.
"The time doesn't take away the hurt. The time doesn't take away the sadness, the profound sadness for the families. The years don't matter. We have to live with this every single day," she said.
Along the walk, those in attendance dedicated Judge's bunker coat and helmet at the New York City Fire Museum. Some called it a miracle that his coat remained fully intact.
Judge was the first recorded victim on 9/11.