SPOKANE, Wash. -

If Interstate 90 was part of your commute Wednesday morning you may have noticed a Spokane firefighter waving the American flag high on a hill above Liberty Park, a tradition for Alex Mickshl that dates back to Sept. 11, 2002.

Each year for the past 12 years has been the exact same for Mickshl. He climbs a hill above Liberty Park, bright and early at dawn, waving an American flag over the busy traffic of I-90 in the hope that people passing by understand what he's doing and why he is there.

Other than a short break for lunch, Mickshl remains vigilant at his post atop the hill, paying tribute to the fallen men and women with whom feels such an incredibly strong bond.

"For all the firefighters and police and EMS personnel that died that day and ever since I do it as a continuing memorial for everyone that has made sacrifices for our country," he explained.

Mickshl also does it for the people driving past on their commute; he wants them to remember those who gave their lives to save others.

He's also standing on that hill, waving the flag, as a tribute to a fallen brother in the Spokane Fire Department, John Knighten, who died from cancer due to complications caused by the work he loved to do .

"This year especially my Spokane firefighter brother John Knighten passed away so I am out here for him too," Mickshl explained.