Chicagoans remember 9/11 attacks

September 11, 2008 8:48:35 PM PDT
Chicago's first responders honored the victims of the 9/11 attacks Thursday. Solemn ceremonies were held across the Chicago area. Most ceremonies Thursday were relatively short. And some were only a couple of minutes long, but firefighters, police officers, and first responders say it's important to participate every year on this day, even if it's only for a quick moment of silence.

"The moment of silence every year since 9/11 happened seven years ago, it's been just a tribute to all of my friends and firemen who gave their lives, not only on 9/11 but through the years before and since," said Phillip Ross, Chicago Fire Dept.

The first plane hit the Twin Towers at 7:46 a.m. Chicago time. Thursday morning, firefighters and paramedics from Engine 42 saluted, remembering the brave men and women who died on 9/11.

"Those 343 firefighters went in that building, a lot of them knew they weren't going to come out, but they wanted to do their best. What we do is we pray for their families," said Bob Hoff, deputy fire commissioner.

"But, because of those events on 9/11, we're better prepared for anything that should happen in our country," said Randy Jaeger, Des Plaines Fire Department chief.

Firefighters also remembered September 12, 2001, when a large group of Chicago firefighters left for New York City to help. The group stayed in New York for six days, helping with cleanup efforts and assisting the New York Fire Department.

Chicago firefighters say a moment of silence on 9/11 is not only for the men and women who died, it's also for family members whose lives were torn apart seven years ago.

"There was more than enough in the first round. We took 75 in the first round to assist our brothers and sisters in New York," said Hoff.

In the tradition of helping other cities continues, the Chicago Fire Department currently has seven firefighters in the state of Louisiana who are helping out with cleanup efforts after Hurricane Gustav.

Thursday night, in suburban Glenview, there's going to be another ceremony: the unveiling of a new war memorial. It was inspired by the loss of two brave Marines from Glenview who were killed in Iraq.


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