City Of Biloxi Hosts Remembrance Ceremony - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/11/02

City Of Biloxi Hosts Remembrance Ceremony

The City of Biloxi remembered September 11th by honoring the dedication and sacrifice of public safety workers.

Dozens of firefighters and police officers took part in the solemn ceremony outside the new Firefighters Museum on Howard Avenue.

The attack on America prompted public awareness and respect for emergency workers across the country. And the Biloxi ceremony reflected that.

"We need to thank God and pray for New York City, as well as all fire and policemen across the country," said Biloxi Fire Chief, David Roberts.

Banners bearing the names of public safety workers who died a year ago provided an appropriate backdrop for the solemn remembrance.

Fireman John Jennings reminded the crowd about the purpose of the gathering.

"Our ceremony we're about to do is not to mourn the loss of all the public safety personnel who lost their lives last year, but rather a celebration of the legacy they left behind us. Their heroism. Their professionalism," he said.

A bell ringing marked the collapse of the first trade center tower. The flag was lowered in memory of those who sacrificed to save others.

"We ask thy blessing and eternal rest to all our brothers who have sacrificed their very lives in the performance of their duties. Give to their loved ones the peace and strength to bear the anguish of their loss," said Biloxi police officer, Linda Atterberry.

September 11th transferred the tragedy of New York City to the neighborhood firehouse in Biloxi. Now everyone understands the dangers of protecting the public.

Joe Boney became a firefighter 18 years ago.

"It's become a lot more prevalent since 9-11. A lot of guys went in them buildings, and they knew, the firemen knew they were not going to come out of there. But they didn't shy away from their job. And they did it," said Boney.

"Many people died by the violence of last September 11th. Show your mercy on all those," said Jennings during a moment of prayer.

Chief Roberts says the attack on America had a profound impact on firefighters and the public's perception of them.

"Since 9-11 I think the whole country has come together better as far as the brotherhood of firefighters," he said.

That brotherhood paused Wednesday to reflect and remember.

"It makes you appreciate each other a little bite more. And I think there's a little bit more of an outward expression of that in the fire service now," said Boney.

By Steve Phillips

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