BROADALBIN – Area residents and volunteer firefighters from several fire stations filled the Broadalbin-Kennyetto Fire Company firehouse Wednesday to honor victims of the Sept. 11 attacks 12 years ago.
Firefighters from volunteer companies in Perth, Mayfield and Berkshire, along with the Broadalbin Volunteer Ambulance Corps and auxiliary volunteers, proceeded into the department in a somber march.
Archie Rose, assistant chief at the Broadalbin-Kennyetto Fire Company, opened the ceremony, explaining the meaning behind a Sept. 11 memorial outside the department.
The memorial includes a piece of steel from ground zero in New York City. The girder was from the Twin Towers, which fell after the terrorist attacks.
The girder stands straight up, the top twisted. At the base of the memorial is a patch of grass representing the field in Shanksville, Pa., where Flight 93 went down Sept. 11, 2001.
“We are here tonight to remember the first responders at the Twin Towers,” Broadalbin Village Mayor Eugene Christopher said. “I’m sure everyone can remember where they were when the news came across the airwaves 12 years ago.”
Scot Hall, chief of the fire Broadalbin-Kennyetto Fire Company, spoke about the firefighters who responded on Sept. 11, 2001.
“You may have followed someone’s footsteps, or you may have followed your own dreams,” Hall said of firefighters. “… Whatever the reason, you made it your life.”
Duane Miller rang the fire bell in four sequences of five rings, the customary acknowledgement of a deceased firefighter, honoring the first-responders killed during the Sept. 11 attacks and those who have health problems today because of their efforts after the attacks.
As “Amazing Grace” was played, members of the department laid a wreath before the memorial as it rained.
New York State Assemblyman Marc Butler, R-Newport, said he clearly remembers Sept. 11.
“Everyone in the nation was touched in some way, especially those in New York, who bore the brunt of those attacks,” Butler said.
He said in the weeks after the attacks, he went to New York City wearing a hat given to him by the Broadalbin-Kennyetto department.
“It was perhaps a small and simple gesture, but it was our way of showing our connection with those who perished there,” Butler said.