WFD honors lives lost on 9/11

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Fire Department hosted a ceremony this morning to honor the lives lost 13 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001.

Firefighters along with the Wilmington Police Department, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and members of the community came together to pledge never to forget.

Wilmington Fire Chief Buddy Martinette says every firefighter in the nation reflects on what it means to be a firefighter on this anniversary. After the attacks of Sept. 11, Martinette worked as an Operations Officer at the Pentagon. He was responsible for all the people who worked inside on recovery efforts.

Prior to that, he says he was one of the first people in the country to train others in an urban search and rescue program. Martinette says many of the firefighters in New York were on that team and lost their lives trying to save others. He says although time has passed, the pain of losing them hurts just as bad as it did more than a decade ago.

“It still hurts the same amount,” Martinette said. “I was telling my wife this morning. You know for some reason I’m at the stop light leaving my house, and I start to think about it, and I get tears in my eyes. As courageous and as rough as we want to think we are, we still harbor a lot of emotions, and there are a lot of scars out there that a lot of firefighters are still carrying.”

The chief says he looks at the 343 on the helmet of the firefighter statue in Empie Park and sees the faces of all of his friends. The number represents the number of firefighters killed that day. He says to lay a wreath in front of that statue today meant a great deal to him.

Categories: New Hanover

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