MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is commemorating the 9/11 terrorist attacks by honoring troops and first responders from his home state.

"I just wanted to come with my associates and thank each and every one of you for what you do everyday. For what you do to make us safe. For what you do to make us proud." Ryan told members of the 128th Air Refuling Wing of the Wisconsin Air National Guard.

Ryan met with the airmen minutes after landing in Milwaukee on Tuesday. The congressman had just completed a five-day campaign swing through the west coast.

Many of the airmen he addressed Tuesday have served multiple tours in the Middle East.

"This is a day we should be thinking about people who give their lives and today what we are really thankful for are those who dedicate their lives to keeping us safe," Ryan said. "It is because of your efforts, because of your bravery, because of what you do that has made us safer since that day," Ryan added.

The vice presidential candidate also stopped by the Oak Creek Fire Station, praising first responders who gathered at the firehouse.

"This is a day where we as Americans need to think and remember the people who lost their lives and be thankful for those of you who put your lives on the line for us every day," Ryan said. "So we are here simply to bring notoriety and a gift of thanks for what you do for us on a daily basis. We just really appreciate it."

Tuesday marks the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, in which nearly 3,000 people lost their lives.