Remembering the Fallen: Firefighters Commemorate 9/11

Firefighters commemorate the 19th year since the 9/11 attacks

Bagpiper Kasie Talbot offers a tune early Friday morning in Aptos during a ceremony to honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America. PHOTO: TARMO HANNULA

More than 50 firefighters from agencies across Santa Cruz County gathered in Aptos Friday morning to commemorate the 19th year since the 9/11 attacks.

Using two ladder trucks, the firefighters hoisted a giant flag into the air, and then read the names of their 343 colleagues that died trying to rescue victims in the wake of the attacks.

Retired Watsonville Firefighter Matt Ryan said the day is a time to remember the first responders and police who died, along with nearly 3,000 people who were killed that day.

“It’s a day of honor and remembrance,” Ryan said. “Being a firefighter is such a job of honor and valor that we can’t forget it. To me it’s absolute respect and honor.”

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