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Saturday marks the solemn 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our nation. The IAFC encourages fire and EMS departments to take the time in remembrance of the heroic actions of fire and EMS personnel who responded to the attacks at the World Trade Center, in New York City; the Pentagon in Arlington Virginia; and the terrorist hijacking that took down American Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, remembering the lives lost on that day and from its aftereffects. We commend everyone who responded to the attacks on America during 9/11 for their courage and commitment to service.

At Fire-Rescue International in July, the IAFC hosted a 9/11 remembrance ceremony Center for Professional Development - FRI 9-11 Panel with Bell Ceremony during its July 28 general session. The ceremony was followed by a panel composed of some of the fire/EMS and law enforcement leaders during 9/11 including:

  • FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano (Ret.)
  • FDNY Chief of Counterterrorism and Emergency Preparedness Joe Pfeifer (Ret.)
  • Arlington County Fire Chief Jim Schwartz (Ret.)
  • FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs.

In addition, Chief Pfeifer recently was interviewed by Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News about his experience as the first fire chief on scene at the World Trade Center.

The IAFC also has resources for fire and EMS departments that would like to hold 9/11 remembrance ceremonies. These include:

The IAFC recommends that participation in 9/11 remembrance ceremonies should be entirely voluntary and should be considered on a community-by-community basis with the input of local law enforcement and municipal leadership. Departments should include fire and EMS service personnel; local law enforcement; and civilians, including the families of those who were lost.

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