Weymouth salutes first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice on September 11
WEYMOUTH – Boston College High School high school student Tim Rogers said being American is meant by New York City firefighters and police who died trying to save people trapped in World Trade Center towers after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
“It’s amazing how we as a country can come together in unity,” he said following a 9/11 tribute ceremony in Weymouth at King Oak Hill Park Saturday. “Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice means what it means to be part of the American Dream.”
Authorities estimate that nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks and 206 victims had ties to Massachusetts.
George R. Bean Post 79 Commander Jerry Burke said the nation “watched in horror” as the hijacked airliners hit the World Trade Center.
âWords cannot fully express our sadness and grief,â he said at the ceremony.
The tributes included an 11-foot steel beam from the World Trade Center given to firefighters by New York authorities in June 2015.
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An honor guard made up of police and firefighters stood near the steel beam, and a bell rang in honor of rescuers who died trying to rescue people trapped inside the World Trade Center.
East Street resident Debra Hanifan said the setting for the ceremony was “surreal.
âYou hear the sound of planes coming from Logan Airport behind us,â she said. “At the other end, you could see the piece of steel from the World Trade Center.”
The deceased police and firefighters honored
Fire Chief Keith Stark said it was hard to believe two decades had passed since the terrorist attacks.
âMy generation will remember where we were when the towers were struck,â he said during the ceremony. âWe must never forget the sacrifices of the 343 firefighters, a chaplain and two paramedics. “
Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Murphy said he felt honored to be a firefighter and people associate his colleagues with the staff “who made the ultimate sacrifice” on September 11, 2001.
âThey tried to save as many lives as possible,â he added. âWe are trying to do it on a smaller scale. “
Police Chief Rick Fuller said dozens of police have died trying to rescue people trapped inside the burning World Trade Center towers.
âAs people fled from danger, hero officers were running ahead,â he said at the ceremony.
Fuller said people from 170 countries were trapped inside the skyscrapers and officers did everything possible to save them.
“It didn’t matter to the officers where these people came from or their ethnicity,” he added.
Fuller said the officers’ job description did not require them to enter burning buildings to save people.
âAs Americans, we must never forget our heroes of September 11,â he said. “If we forget our fallen heroes, it will jeopardize our freedom.”