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On the morning of September 11, 2023, the 22nd anniversary of the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City, local first responders gathered for their annual community remembrance honoring those lost during the tragic events of 9/11.
“Although 9/11 took place prior to when I personally became a career firefighter, it is clear what a profound effect it had on everything we do as first responders,” explained Mark Stevenson, Training Officer with the City of Houma Fire Department, who began organizing this event almost a decade ago. “We started by just having some local first responders come out to remember the tragedy, and made a pact then that we would always come out, rain or shine, to recognize those who lost their lives in the most significant event in recent fire safety history.”
The gathering of First Responders took place on Hwy 311, at 8:59 AM (when the first tower fell at ground zero) on Monday, September 11, 2023, and included Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove along with members of local law enforcement, fire departments, and first responders. Houma Fire Department Chief Corey Henry led with prayer, then at 8:59 a.m., readers listed each first responder killed that day at ground zero followed by a single bell toll to signify their service. Following the name reading, a moment of silence was held to remember all others that were killed that day, as well as those that have died since from the after effects.
Stevenson said that as each year passes, it becomes more and more important to hold this event. “We are now hiring firefighters who were not even alive during 9/11,” said Stevenson. “So it is so important for them to recognize those who gave their lives in service. It is a time for our younger and older members to reflect on why we do what we do, and why we can’t ever forget.”