SILVER CREEK - It was a solemn and dreary Sunday morning when the Silver Creek, Sunset Bay, Hanover Center and Irving firefighters and Silver Creek Police marched down Central Avenue.
The purpose of the early morning gathering was to honor the emergency responders who lost their lives exactly 10 years before in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
They marched in formation to the village park where Silver Creek Mayor Kurt Lindstrom thanked the firefighters for their service to the village.
Silver Creek 9-11 Ceremony
The Rev. Rob Sheldon of the Silver Creek Baptist Church spoke of the firefighters' sacrifice, on 9-11 and every day.
He told the story of a rich man who asked Jesus how he could get into heaven and Jesus responded saying he had to give up everything to help others. Sheldon said that is what firemen do.
The community shook hands with the firefighters and police and a moment of silence was observed to remember those who were lost.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
The Silver Creek Fire and Police Departments along with other local firefighters held a ceremony to salute the emergency responders who lost their lives 10 years earlier on Sept. 11, 2001.
Rev. Sheldon then led the crowd through a timeline of what happened on that day 10 years earlier.
Between 7:59 and 8:42 a.m. four flights departed from their East Coast airports headed for destinations in California.
At 8:47 a.m. the first plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center. At the exact time when the first tower was hit, a fireman rang the bell of an antique fire engine 3 times, 4 times and 3 times for the 343 firefighters lost.
At 9:02 a.m. the second plane hit the south tower which collapsed less than an hour later.
At 9:41 a.m. a plane struck the Pentagon and at 10 a.m. flight 93 crashed into field in Shanksville, Penn.
Not even a half hour later the north tower collapsed.
Leading up to Sunday there have been many programs on TV showing what happened that day. Silver Creek Fire Chief Rich Bartlett said that all his firefighters have been watching and that it hits home a little differently for first responders.
"All week we've been watching programs on TV, listening to things on the radio ... As first responders be it firemen, be it EMS, be it police officers, it hits us a little bit differently. What everyone has to realize is when something goes wrong and everybody is heading away from whatever that bad thing is, we're heading that way, we're going in there ... No different from what happened that day ... Nobody knew that day what the final outcome was going to be and that those towers were going to come down the way they did. But they went inside and it's gut wrenching, it's heart wrenching to watch those shows and listen to those radio transmissions, especially for us ... but talking to all the firemen this morning we were all doing the same thing last night; watching all those shows once again. When we get home we're going to watch them again and anytime there's something like that on we watch it. It affects us in a different way," Bartlett explained.
He thanked the Sunset Bay, Hanover Center and Irving fire departments for joining in the ceremony and for helping when calls for help come in.
"Yesterday between 2 o'clock and 4 o'clock we had four calls ... there's not enough people in my department to spread ourselves to handle all these ... mutual aid departments were here," he said.
He reminded those in attendance that although the fire whistle may be annoying, it means something.
"I know at times, especially to people who live close to the fire hall, that the fire whistle can be kind of annoying but maybe next time your mad because the whistle keeps blowing off ... maybe we should think about all these people who get up at 3 o'clock in the morning or leave their little league game or their dinner and go to respond to these calls. We don't get paid, we volunteer to do this. We do it because we love it ... We're not looking for glory, we're not looking for money, just for somebody to say thank you goes a long way," Bartlett added.
The ceremony ended with the firemen's prayer led by Chaplain Todd Johnson