Even though they were a long way from ground zero, Thompson Fire and Emergency Services (TFES) members honoured first responders who died 18 years ago in New York City during the 9/11 World Trade Centre attacks.
The Sept. 11 ceremony started out at the Thompson fire hall, where TFES representatives laid a pair of wreaths at their own memorial site and recited the Firefighters Prayer.
Thompson Professional Firefighters Association president Travis Mirus served as the master of ceremonies and used his time on the mic to highlight the sheer loss of life that occurred on that fateful day in 2001.
“We saw the loss of 343 firefighters, 60 police officers, eight paramedics and over 2,000 civilian lives,” he said. “They often critique the fire and police services that we’re 100 years of tradition uninhibited by progress. But one of the of traditions we like to entertain and always maintain is to remember those that have sacrificed and gone before us.”
Following these remarks, a small group of community representatives, including RCMP members, City of Thompson officials and newly elected NDP MLA Danielle Adams, marched to the Spirit Way Northern Firefighters Tribute overlooking MacLean Park to commemorate local emergency responders that continue to ensure the public’s safety in 2019.
“We have the Vale rescue, we have the guys who can fight fires deep down in the mine,” said Mayor Colleen Smook. “We have the water bombers here that are looking out for our whole north over the course of the fire season in the summer. We have such committed forces all around us every day to protect us, so we just have to be grateful.”
Mirus closed out this ceremony by reiterating why it is so important to carry out this tradition every year now that the tragedy is almost two decades old.
“This year we have people that were born and now hitting their adult age that have no memory of what actually happened on that day in 2001,” he said. “And it is up to us to teach these people what happened, to always reinforce the significance of those events.”