News Local/State

Champaign Firefighters Remember 1st Responders On 9/11

Member of Champaign Fire Dept. honor guard rings a bell in memory of those killed in the Sept. 11 2001 attacks.

A member of the Champaign Firefighters Local #1260 Honor Guard rings a bell in memory of civilians, firefighters, police, EMT and military personnel killed in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media

Champaign firefighters observed the 16th anniversary of the September 11th attacks Monday morning, joining other observances across the country.

Champaign firefighters ran a bell in triplets of three to remember the civilians and first responders who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs called on those attending the ceremony to also remember the first responders who serve today.

“I don’t think we appreciate them as much until perhaps we are running out of a burning building and we seem them running towards it”, said Frerichs, "when we see ourselves or our fellow citizens running away from gunshot and see them running there to protect people."

Champaign Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen also spoke at the ceremony, remembering the day of the attacks as "that perfect fall day with the bluest of skies, that changed in an instant to the blackest of nights."

"I think of the children who are now adults, who lost family members", said Feinen. "And I am reminded of the selfless acts of kindness and the good works gone to honor those who have died and their loved ones who have remained."

Champaign Firefighters hold the ceremony at the Police and Firefighters Memorial in West Side Park every September 11th at 8:46 AM. That minute, adjusted for Eastern Time, marks the moment when the first hijacked plane was flown into the World Trade Center’s North Tower.