Friday, September 11, 2020, marked the 19th anniversary of the devastation that hit the United States. In honor of our first responders, the Celina ISD recognized the City’s Police and Fire Departments during the Bobcat football game on Friday night. This memorial was also a time to reflect on the nearly 3,000 (2,977) people killed, more than 6,000 injured, and those who died from the health risks associated with being exposed to the debris when terrorist-piloted planes slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the field in Pennsylvania.
On that horrific day 19 years ago, first responders immediately rushed into the Twin Towers in New York City, passing civilians who were fleeing the catastrophic scene. Soon after they made entry, the first tower collapsed, killing them all. The first responders in the second tower continued to selflessly perform their duties and help those who were trapped or injured, risking their lives.
The firefighter deaths on September 11 amounted to more than a third of the approximately 1,000 emergency personnel at the scene. The attacks became not only the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history but also the most fatal ever for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the United States. The New York City Fire Department lost 343 among their ranks, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority officers according to the 9/11 Commission that investigated the attacks and emergency response.
“We are incredibly humbled to honor the brave men and women that gave their lives to save others in this tragic event. This memorial also serves as a reminder to the public that Police, Fire, and EMS have taken an oath to protect them from danger, even if it costs us our lives. It takes a special person to take that oath.”, City of Celina Fire Chief, Mark Metdker.
It is important to remember and honor the spirit of selfless service embodied by the EMTs, paramedics, firefighters, and police officers who responded to the towers that day, and all first responders who make the ultimate sacrifice in service to their community. A person’s life is the greatest gift they can give, and that is the legacy of first responders then and now.