Chapel Hill’s police and fire departments said they will never forget the sacrifices of New York City’s firefighters and police officers after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
And to honor those who gave their lives, the two departments will hold a joint memorial this Sunday morning at the Meadowmont “Fire Place.”
Although local law enforcement holds a memorial every year on Sept. 11, this is the first time that it will be open to the public.
“It is important for all Americans to remember what happened to us 10 years ago and remember the Americans that died,” said Robert Bosworth, deputy chief of the Chapel Hill Fire Department.
“We as firefighters always say that we are willing to give our life, but that day they actually did,” he said.
A ceremonial ringing of the bell will take place to honor the law enforcement officers and firefighters who gave their lives that day.
The memorial will begin at 9:45 a.m. and will last about 45 minutes.
“This is also an opportunity for us to come together in fellowship and celebrate the brave people that sacrificed that day,” said Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue.
Sam Smith, a firefighter at the Chapel Hill Fire Department, said the attacks inspired him to become a firefighter.
“They were just doing what they do everyday — I’m sure they didn’t think twice about it,” he said. “Their actions were heroic and brave.”
Firefighters and police officers said the service will allow them a chance to remember the events of 9/11 — a day that shocked and overwhelmed them — together.
“I was absolutely stunned,” said Chris Bradley, commander of the Chapel Hill Fire Department Honor Guard.
“The fire department is like a brotherhood,” he said. “We depend on each other.”
Bradley, who has worked as a firefighter for more than twenty years, said the attacks made him more concerned for his family’s security.
“Our whole world seemed less safe,” he said. “9/11 made me feel politically aware, wiser and definitely more cautious.
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