Sept. 11: ‘we will never forget the sacrifice’
Police officers and firefighters gathered Friday morning to mark the eighth anniversary of the Sept.11, 2001 terrorist attacks, remembering the fallen from that day as they spoke of the important role of the nation’s first responders.
The short ceremony, held outside the Park Avenue police station, drew a small crowd mostly made up of members of local emergency agencies like the Park City Police Department, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and the Park City Fire District. They wore black bands on their badges.
An American flag was unfolded, put onto a flag pole and raised to half-staff. A Police Department honor guard fired three rounds in salute and two buglers from the Park City High School band performed taps.
A fire truck siren sounded at the moments the two planes struck the towers of the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11, and a Police Department dispatcher issued a chilling call signifying the end of watch for the fallen officers.
The ceremony was similar to others that have been held in recent years on Sept. 11. There was not a significant bloc of regular Parkites in the audience.
Police Chief Wade Carpenter called the events of eight years ago a "cowardly terrorist attack" and "horrific" as he delivered his remarks. He said the sacrifices of the first responders will not be forgotten.
"Today we gather together to show the world that we will never forget the sacrifice made and those who still suffer from injuries sustained from this horrific event," Carpenter said.
In an interview, Carpenter said he knew 12 members of the police force in Yonkers, N.Y., who died when the World Trade Center towers collapsed. He had trained with them for a few years before the attacks.
"It’s hard for me. This is always an emotional day for me," the police chief said.
Ray Huntzinger, a fire district battalion chief, said people will always remember where they were on Sept. 11 and said firefighters and other emergency personnel must stay vigilant. Since the attacks, Huntzinger said, first responders have become better equipped and the training is superior to beforehand.
Mayor Dana Williams also provided brief remarks, honoring the people who continue to fight terrorists and saying that the respect for first responders since the attacks has been positive.
"This country has never forgotten what happened on 9-11," the mayor said.
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