‘These fighters, cops, all stand prepared to guard all of you’
September 12, 2019
Whereas Sept. 11, 2001 is normally remembered as a day of darkness, Reverend Bruce Arbour managed to seek out somewhat bit of sunshine on this years’ commemoration.
Eighteen years in the past, an American Airways Boeing 767 flew into the North Tower of the World Commerce Middle in New York Metropolis, beginning the tragic terrorist assaults memorialized each September 11 in america and around the globe.
As a member of the Amherst Hearth Division on the time of the assault, Arbour traveled alongside the firefighters to New York Metropolis, the place firemen, policemen and different first responders got here to serve the town within the wake of the mass tragedy.
On Wednesday, Arbour recounted his experiences and the individuals he met as a primary responder on the AFD’s 9/11 memorial on the Central Hearth Station on North Nice Road.
“I had talked to a firefighter who really misplaced his group behind him. [Before] he made it out the door, his group bought caught within the collapse. He didn’t know if he might do the job anymore,” Arbour mentioned.
Though Arbour was solely in New York for every week, the expertise by no means left him – even years later. 4 years after his service as a primary responder, Arbour made a go to again to New York. Arbour noticed the identical firefighter from the tragedy who had misplaced his males. He was passing on engine 65, the identical crew he had been aside of in 2001, driving by way of Instances Sq. “nonetheless within the jumpsuit.”
“A whole lot of wonderful issues like that occurred,” Arbour mentioned.
The fireplace chief of Amherst, Walter O. “Tim” Nelson, additionally shared some phrases.
“These fighters, cops, all stand prepared to guard all of you. It’s our responsibility to maintain you secure, it’s your accountability to recollect,” he mentioned. Nelson spoke with conviction and it clearly rendered with these current.
Through the ceremony, the flag flew at half-mast. After Arbour and Nelson spoke, the bell on the stations started to ring. All facet conversations got here to a halt and some extra attendees trickled in. A wave of solemnity might be felt amongst the gang.
Arbour’s message rang true: “To recollect on today, our need to carry and maintain the sunshine that illuminated the place of catastrophe, place of misplaced, for hope was by no means misplaced and honor was all the time sustained, be with us as we bear in mind.”
Morgan Reppert may be reached at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @reppertmorgan.