Southwick remembers 9/11

SOUTHWICK – Residents and officials of the Town of Southwick gathered Friday morning at the Southwick Fire Department to mark the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
Fire Chief Richard Anderson recalled the tragic event where thousands of people lost their lives in the terrorist attack that changed America.
“There was a difficult pause on that September morning when a question seemed to hang in the air: How do we respond to a moment such as this? Can we respond to a moment such as this?” said Anderson.
Anderson said in the 14 years since that day, 9/11 has become more than an attack. He said it showed the world what Americans are made of.
“It has come to represent our response to the unthinkable acts of humanity at its worst,” he said, “because right there, through the tears, through the debris, through the smoke, we witnessed humanity at its best.”
Firefighters, police officers, EMTs and other first responders ran into the chaos that morning to save people.
“9/11 remembers the tragedy and loss, but it also represents how we didn’t turn away, how we, as first responders, went forward into the flames,” Anderson said.
Lives have been forever changed, he said. How we live has changed.
“The events of 9/11 changed many parts of our lives over the last 14 years,” he said. “It changed how we travel. It changed the way we see our allies and enemies. But one thing that 9/11 hasn’t changed is the way we respond, the way we do our jobs as firefighters and first responders.
“It has not changed or taken away our determination and courage. 9/11 has not taken away our call – the call to serve in a way that demands we run toward danger for the sake of our neighbors.”
Anderson said every time firefighters hear a tone, or police respond to a call, they honor those lives that fell victim to terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001 and those who responded to that tragedy as well as the Washington State wild fire, the Worcester Cold Storage fire, and every emergency.
Firefighter Steve Pinette had the honor of striking the four fives, which is the striking of a bell, to remember fallen comrades.
Southwick Fire Chaplain Taylor Allbright offered a prayer and said he was thankful for that moment.
‘Thank you for setting apart these brief moments to remember the events of Sept. 11,” he said. “It’s all too easy to forget even the recent past.”

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