“On that day, the unthinkable happened – a tragedy of epic proportions. However, one undeniable truth emerged from 9/11. The firefighters and the other emergency personnel who responded to the World Trade Center were courageous, heroic and professional. The truth is evident in the testimony of the civilians who survived the incident and told many moving stories describing firefighters climbing the stairs while the occupants were fleeing down them. It was evident in the number of lives saved in the evacuation effort. … The firefighters performed their duties because it was their righteous calling to do so.”
Lisbon Fire Chief Douglas Brahm had strong words to say about the heroic efforts of the firefighters from New York City who tried to save as many people as they could in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Brahm called to attention the 343 firefighters who lost their lives while rushing up the stairs of the World Trade Center.
Brahm and many others spoke as the community gathered at St. John’s Military Academy for Waukesha County Remembers 9/11. Held in the picturesque Field of Flags on the military school, the sun was shining bright as hundreds of people came to remember the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
“Stay vigilant and above all, stay safe,” said Muskego Police Chief Paul Geiszler, who was at the Muskego Police Department 10 years ago when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed by the terrorist on Sept. 11, 2001, but Sen. Ron Johnson called to attention the 6,114 military members who have died while defending the country in the last 10 years, including more than 100 from Wisconsin.
“Since 9/11 the finest among us have stepped up to the plate,” Johnson said. “…We need to remember these individuals. We need to remember their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their families. It is also a time to remember and reflect. We should reflect on the promise that America still holds.”
The older generations know exactly where they were when they learned that Pearl Harbor had been attacked in World War II and others remember what they were doing when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and when the first man walked on the moon, Johnson said, and this generation remembers Sept. 11, 2001.
“A day like 9/11 is a very rare moment,” Johnson said. “It is a type of moment that we all collectively will never forget where we were.”
Waukesha County Remembers 9/11 was first coordinated several years ago by former Waukesha Mayor Carol Lombardi, Brian Dorow, who is an associate dean in the Waukesha County Technical College criminal justice department, and Menomonee Falls Police Chief Anna Ruzinski.
“It was the most significant act of domestic terrorism in the United States,” Dorow said in a recent Waukesha Patch article about the event. “A lot of innocent people lost their lives, as well as first responders who were just courageous and brave as they responded there and did everything they could. … It is worth remembering this significant event by having these memorials.”