"Anytime anything happens, firefighters, EMS squads and police scramble to respond," Wise said.
The governor also spoke of those who responded to the 500 false alarms involving anthrax in the state within the last year.
"They don't think of themselves as heroes, but they are," he said.
Elkview resident Tom Black said he appreciated Sunday's ceremony. "It's a very sobering time that our nation is faced with," he said. "I just wanted to pay my respects. The ceremony was very, very nice."
In addition to Wise, others present at the service included members of the West Virginia State Police, the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department, the St. Albans Fire Department, and the St. Albans High School ROTC color guard.
Kanawha County Sheriff Dave Tucker said the service was for all Americans.
"It's an honor to pay tribute to all the people who have died and are protecting our country," Tucker said. "But we're honoring all citizens. Today is a tribute to everyone."
To contact staff writer Chandra Broadwater, use e-mail or call 348-5194.