The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) is privileged and fortunate to have a piece of the World Trade Center's South Tower as a memorial at our headquarters in Chantilly, VA.
As such, the organization proudly pays tribute each year to the 343 FDNY members who died that day, and to the nearly-equal number of members who have since died from 9/11-related illness. This year's ceremony was held on Monday, September 12.
Members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Honor Guard helped lead Monday morning’s remembrance with the ceremonial 5-5-5-5-5 ringing of the fire bell, followed by a moment of silence for all who died 21 years ago.
IAFC 1st Vice President and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Chief John Butler attended this morning’s bell-ringing and moment of silence. He referenced the piece of “H” column steel.
“That beam is a living thing,” Chief Butler said, in thanking those who attended. “It has thousands and thousands of stories and it was somewhat somber to note that it sat alone yesterday.”
Chief Butler reminded the attendees that 20,000 people woke up on September 12 because of the heroic actions of the FDNY and other responders. “It will always be known as the world’s greatest rescue operation. As important as September 11 is and should always be, we should also remember those who had the gift of September 12.”