By David Tuma
Fire Departments across the nation honored the fire fighters who were lost on Sept. 11, 2001, in the World Trade Center attacks. Belton’s Fire Department held a ceremony honoring all those who died in the attacks from the civilians in the planes and buildings to the 343 firefighters who died in the World Trade Center.
That dreadful morning, 343 New York City firefighters lost their lives. Fire departments across the nation honor them by walking in full gear the distance of the height of the towers. The distance is exactly half a mile long, which signifies the total combined height of the World Trade Center Towers that collapsed.
This year’s event was limited to fire department members and their families. This was the first year the department did the walk in addition to placing a wreath. The ceremony was timed to coincide with when the first plane hit one of the towers.
It was an emotional event for the firefighters and it was an occasion for them to honor their own. So much has been recorded or reported on the event but it is the firefighters who were going up the stairs when everybody else was going down. It is part of who they are nationwide and this was their moment to remember in private.
“We must stay vigilant against terrorism. Sept. 11 was the deadliest terrorist attack on our land. It is hard to believe it has been 12 years,” said Fire Chief Francisco Corona.
Each firefighter in full gear carried the names of each fire fighter who died in the attack..
Perhaps this final paragraph of a prayer firemen sometimes use will give the feeling of the ceremony. This prayer was given to those in attendance. ‘And if according to your will I should lose my life. Please bless with your protecting hand My children and my wife’ – A Fireman’s Prayer Author Unknown.