Outside the Mount Sinai Fire Department at dusk on Monday night, Sept. 11, members of the Mount Sinai Fire Department held their annual commemoration for those who perished on that date 22 years earlier.
Firefighters gathered at the department’s 9/11 memorial, surrounded by family and community members, where they reflected upon the memory of those who died, recognizing the sacrifice of the first responders who had paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
Department chaplain Micky Nassauer delivered the evening’s invocation, outlining the purpose of this annual occasion.
“On this solemn day of remembrance, may we honor the lives that were lost in this tragic act, and may we give thanks to those who served and saved,” he said.
Chief of Department Randy Nelson performed the annual bell ringing ceremony, which rang out in honor of the 343 New York City Fire Department members who laid down their lives in the line of service.
“We honor their supreme sacrifice,” Nelson said, “On this day and every day.”
In an address to the department, Nelson chronicled the events on that Tuesday morning as they transpired in real time. Despite the darkness and the destruction unleashed upon the city and nation, he maintained that the nation has persevered, offering a new approach to reflect upon that moment in history.
“The words ‘Never forget’ have become synonymous with September 11,” the fire chief said. “But as stated today by one of the victims’ family members, ‘Always remember’ is really the better approach.”
He advised, “Keep your memory of that day as a way to remember all that were lost.”