LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — As the world remembers one of the darkest days in U.S. history Tuesday, one Southland teen honored his father who died a hero that day.

Liam Callahan’s father died on September 11, 2001, eight months before he was born. Liam Sr. was an Emergency Service Unit officer with the New York City Port Authority Police Dept.

“He’s a role model,” Liam told CBS2 News. “He’s someone I look up to. I always try and live up to the type of man he was.”

The younger Callahan said his father was driving the first truck that arrived on the scene at the World Trade Center that day.

“His commander told him to leave, and he said, ‘We’re just going in to get one more woman in a wheelchair,'” Liam said. His father never made it out of the North Tower.

Though he never met his father, Liam has gotten to know him through stories, and every September 11th, he’s made sure to attend an event to honor his father and all those others who lost their lives.

On Tuesday, the 16-year-old stood in front of steel beam recovered from the site that now stands at the Los Angeles Fire Dept.’s Hotchkin Memorial Training Center, reading a tribute to his dad.

“That is the legacy I will take with me, as well as those two words: Never Forget,” Liam said from the stage.

His mother teared up talking about her son.

“I’m so proud of him,” said Kimberly Ragno. “He’s always made me proud, but on days like this, he makes me even more proud.”

Liam has been told he’s a lot like this father, who loved to cook, was selfless and was an old soul.

“I feel like he’s watching over me, and I hope he’s proud,” said Liam.