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380AEW Article

ADAB Fire Department remembers 9/11, hosts memorial ceremony

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Christian Silvera
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

The 380th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department hosted a 9/11 memorial ceremony on base, Sept. 11, 2023 in honor of the 2,977 people who tragically lost their lives 22 years ago.

“We lost 343 firefighters, and so many support authorities, medics, cops and civilian personnel,” said Tech Sgt. William Irizarry, 380th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron deputy fire chief. “As history continues, we want to keep their memory alive in our minds.”

Beginning at 8:46 a.m., the moment the first plane struck the World Trade Center’s north tower in 2001, honor guardsmen presented the colors as the national anthem played. Immediately following, Maj. Joseph Kamphuis, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing chaplain, led a solemn invocation.

“It’s important to recognize the heroism and sacrifices made by all first responders on 9/11,” said Tech Sgt. Julio Madera,  380th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron assistant chief of health and safety. “It can inspire current and future generations of first responders to uphold the same commitment to duty, bravery, and service to their communities.”

The ceremony concluded with an Airmen tolling a bell, marking each of the significant events that occurred during the 2001 attacks.

Historically, a bell toll signals the beginning of a shift for a firefighter. A series of bells is sounded when a firefighter dies in the line of duty to alert all members that a comrade had made the ultimate sacrifice.

“I remember exactly where I was on that day, and it’s near and dear to my heart,”said Irizarry. “I’m grateful that the wing came together to remember the sacrifices those individuals made that day.”