September 11, 2015 - 1:06 PM
PENTICTON - The bagpipes began playing this morning as those gathering in Veterans Park prepared to pay homage to fallen emergency service workers during the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre buildings.
Penticton Auxiliary firefighter Carsten Von Dein says today's ceremony, Sept. 11, is meant to remember all emergency service workers who have fallen in the line of duty, referring to it as a first responders' Remembrance Day.
Firefighters, B.C. Wildfire personnel, RCMP and Armed Forces veterans gathered, in the words of Penticton Deputy Fire Chief Dave Spalding, “to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11 and all members who dedicate their lives to the health and welfare of our citizens.”
Spalding says 343 firefighters, 71 law enforcement officers and 55 military personnel lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorist hijackers flew two commercial aircraft into the two towers of the World Trade Centre, killing 2,753 people.
Spalding adds this morning’s service recognized “all who have paid the ultimate sacrifice before or since” the attack on the trade centre.
He notes six firefighters have died on the job in Canada so far this year. Three members of Canada’s police force died in the line of duty last year, one so far this year. Spalding also recognized the protective work of wildfire firefighters, noting the deaths of three Washington wildfire firefighters this summer.
Deputy mayor Helena Konanz says she remembers the World Trade Centre as a tourist who frequented the New York city at the time.
“I remember feeling horrified and shocked. Someone told me to turn on the TV,” she says. “It really hit home that day that things were never going to be the same again.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015