A modest but important remembrance

12 Sep

Friday marked the 19th anniversary of the awful events of Sept. 11, 2001, the day when the world changed forever.

On that day, 2,977 people lost their lives, including 412 first responders. Among them were 343 firefighters from the New York City Fire Department.

Every year since that awful day, the Village of Webster has held a remembrance ceremony on Sept. 11 at Veterans Memorial Park. But like pretty much everything these days, that ceremony was canceled this year. But there was no way that Chief Robert Boutillier was going to let the occasion pass unnoticed.

So he organized a small event of his own, asking all of his WVFD firefighters to gather at the Enderlin Station on South Ave. last night for a short ceremony.

The occasion was not about “pats on the back, speeches, etc.,” he said. “It’s about the sacrifice that was made responding to an alarm as we do each and every day.”

The Chief reiterated those thoughts last night at the station. It was “appropriate and necessary” that we continue to recognize the sacrifice those 343 firefighters made that day.

Chief Boutillier saying some words before inviting all to share a moment of silence.

“We’re not here for speeches or to look sharp in our class A (uniform)s,” or “for people to say ‘thank you for your service,'” he said. They gathered simply to honor those who lost their lives and to offer a moment of silence in respect.

The event was not widely advertised, so only a handful of community members attended. But the fact there were no large crowds did not minimize the evening’s significance. It was just an opportunity for our local firefighting brothers and sisters to honor their own: dedicated New York City firefighters who went to work that morning. not knowing they would not make it home that night.

Among the gear placed outside the station last night in honor of the fallen firefighters was a helmet, emblazoned with the number of firefighters who lost their lives. It was commissioned just a few months after 9/11.

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