Among the hundreds of area citizens participating sunday in Warrensburg's annual Sept. 11 Memorial ceremony were (left to right) Warrensburg Central students Kerrigan Roth, Adam Langworthy, Merissa Hayes and Luke Bryant. The candlelight ceremony included the involvement of 13 area fire companies and other emergency response agencies, a record for the yearly event.
Photo by Thom Randall.
continued Warrensburg Fire chief Justin Hull recounted the heroism of the 343 New York City firefighters killed during the World Trade Center evacuation effort, noting they climbed stair by stair, toting heavy equipment, up dozens of floors in smoke-filled stairwells of the towers in an attempt to rescue thousands.
“Most of them must have known they were not going to make it out,” he said, adding that Warrensburg would continue the annual ceremony indefinitely in their honor.
“We have not, and will not ever forget the true heroes of Sept. 11,” he said.
Participating in the Warrensburg ceremony were firefighters from the volunteer fire companies of Bolton Landing, Chestertown, Garnet Lake, Horicon, Johnsburg, Lake George, Pottersville, North Creek, Queensbury Central, Thurman and Warrensburg.
Area ambulance squads, including the Warrensburg Emergency Medical Services and the North Warren Emergency Squad, were also represented.
The featured speaker for the memorial service was Jeffrey Tennyson, Warren County Superintendent of Public Works, who served as a Major in the Army Reserves. His career includes service in Iraq. He described the commitment to duty the firefighters killed in the Sept. attacks must have possessed.
“These men didn’t die alone, and they didn’t fail our nation or each other,” he said.
Tennyson also talked about the similar commitment of local firefighters, police, highway workers, and emergency medical responders, noting how they saved lives and property in Warren County, particularly in the last several months’ devastating floods — and the fire on River St. in Warrensburg.
“May we honor (those killed in the Sept. 11 attacks) with our continued service — may it be a living memorial to those who passed on,” he said.
He noted that firefighters from northern Warren County responded during the May and August flood events, positioning fire trucks at deep road washouts, where unsuspecting motorists could otherwise plunge into gullies and be killed.
“If not for the emergency responders, it would be chaos out there,” he said, praising those who routinely put their life on the line.