Bolton firefighters pay tribute to 9/11 victims
AT exactly 1.46pm yesterday firefighters across Bolton stood silent to remember their fallen colleagues who lost their lives in the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
Borough commander Ian Bailey led a short ceremony at Bolton Central Fire Station, paying tribute to the 343 firefighters who died 12 years ago to the day trying to protect others.
He struck a ceremonial fire bell at 1.46pm — marking the moment when the North Tower was hit. A total of 2,996 people lost their lives in the attacks.
The haunting sound of the bell echoed through the silence bringing the moving tribute to a close.
Earlier, a parade of firefighters lined the front of the station in a poignant act of remembrance. Firefighters on Red Watch were joined by civilian staff. A fire engine was also driven to the front of the station.
Mr Bailey, said: “When you equate the number of firefighters who lost their lives to the number of virtually every firefighter on duty in Greater Manchester then it shows the enormity of the event.” Mr Bailey travelled to New York on the first anniversary of the terrorist attack, and stayed with a fire company which had lost 12 members in the attack.
He said: “The attack on the World Trade Center is the most significant event I have seen and probably will witness in my lifetime.
“Some people may struggle to understand the bond between firefighters —but there is a bond through protecting members of the public.”
Watch manager Ian Ainsworth said it was important to remember fallen colleagues describing the fire service as a family, particularly as Greater Manchester Fire Service has also recently suffered the tragic death of a firefighter.
Stephen Hunt, who lived in Radcliffe, died while tackling a fire in the Northern Quarter, Manchester.
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