By Mary O’KEEFE
Firefighters at Glendale Fire Station 29 joined fellow firefighters and police officers throughout the country that took time early this morning to remember the attacks on American soil on Sept. 11, 2001.
“On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial U.S. jetliners, deliberately crashing two of the planes into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center and a third plane into the Pentagon. After learning of the other attacks, passengers and crewmembers on the fourth plane attempted to commandeer control, and the plane was crashed into an empty field in western Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people were killed on that day, the single largest loss of life from a foreign attack on American soil,” according to the National 911 Memorial website.
According to records, 343 firefighters and paramedics died that day as they responded to the attacks, along with 23 New York Police Department officers and 37 Port Authority police officers.
Each Glendale fire station had a list of names of fallen comrades; members of the Glendale police read a list as well.
“That day truly changed our world,” said Capt. Alan Dearden of Station 29.
Dearden was working on Sept. 11, 2001 when his wife called him in tears to tell him what had happened.
“Our job has changed because [of the attacks]. There is a different awareness,” he said.
Flags are flown today at half-staff at government agencies to honor the victims of 9/11.