Americans around the country on Wednesday remembered the lives lost in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and local first responders also did their part to honor the sacrifice of the deceased, posting memorial messages on social media.
One of the agencies that held remembrances was the Ludington Fire Department, which parked one of its pumper trucks in front of the fire station, with a careful arrangement of firefighter turnout gear and a 9/11 memorial flag. On Sept. 11, 2001, a total of 2,977 people were killed when terrorist-hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Ludington Fire Chief Jerry Funk said the department does this memorial each year to honor those killed and the emergency personnel who died as a result of responding to the 9/11 attacks.
“It affected everybody, but for first responders, I think there’s a special bond there,” Funk told the Daily News. “It draws everybody together on a day like this. It’s one of those days that everybody will remember where they were and what they were doing ... It’s something you never forget.”
Funk, like many Americans around the country, took breaks from work to watch on TV as the tragic events transpired.
At the World Trade Center in New York, 2,753 people died. Of those who perished during the attacks and the subsequent collapse of the two towers, 343 were firefighters, 60 were law enforcement officers and eight were paramedics, who responded to the emergency. At the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., 184 people died, and in Pennsylvania, the 40 passengers and crew members of the plane that crashed there died.
“We put the truck out to help remember it a little bit,” Funk said. “We’re hoping everybody will take a moment to reflect on it.”
The terrorist attacks happened 18 years ago, which means that there’s a whole generation of young adults and children who weren’t even alive yet when 9/11 happened, Funk noted.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been that long ago already,” he said. “To think that there are those who’ve graduated (from high school) ... and they weren’t even born yet (in 2001).”
Funk said society has a responsibility to teach the younger generation about what happened, and he said he hopes the schools and parents will do their part “to let the younger people know what the sacrifice was there.”
He said that the firefighters would hold a moment of silence during their bimonthly training meeting Wednesday.