Firefighters Mark 9/11 At Firemen’s Monument On Riverside Drive

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Thousands of firefighters stood at attention at the Firemen’s Monument on Riverside Drive to pay tribute to their brothers and sisters lost on 9/11.

WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs In Upper Manhattan

If you speak to any of them about that horrific day ten years ago, you will most likely hear the word “change.”

RELATED: Full Coverage of 9/11 Tenth Anniversary

“There wasn’t anybody, I don’t think, that was not affected by what happened on 9/11, whether you were in the fire service, or were in some other job that had nothing to do with it, it changed all of us,” said firefighter Daryl Sales. “It changed each fire department, where they, they knew, it really became evident the risks that are involved.”

Firefighters gather at the Firemen's Monument, New York - Sept. 11, 2011 (credit: Mike Xirinachs / WCBS 880)

Firefighters gather at the Firemen's Monument, New York - Sept. 11, 2011 (credit: Mike Xirinachs/WCBS 880)

Richard Batista was a firefighter on 9/11. He said while on his way to Ground Zero, he thought everyone was going to be rescued.

“I had very little firefighting experience at the time, very little awareness of what the perils were that were actually facing,” he said. “One of the older guys on the engine told me on the down that a lot people are going to die here today day but I didn’t have that foresight. I thought we were going to rescue everybody.”

Thousands of friends and family in attendance at the firefighter memorial on Sunday. Robin Kerner felt the need to be there.

“I think gathering as groups, you know, remembering the event, talking about it, is part of healing for many of us,” she said.

The FDNY lost 343 firefighters on Sept. 11th. Firefighters honored each of them by name Sunday morning.

Later in the day, a memorial exhibit will be dedicated at the New York City Fire Museum. The exhibit is of the helmet and coat worn by FDNY Chaplain Mychal Judge who died in the lobby of the North Tower.

Did you know a firefighter who was killed on 9/11? Share your memories below.

  • Roger Crites

    Myself and at least four other firefighters from Ottawa, Canada atttended this beautiful and moving ceremony. We went there to pay our respects to all 343 FDNY brothers who perished that day.
    We were very humbled that so many FDNY members took time to shake our hands, thank us and share their stories.
    God bless you all

  • Karl Groth

    George Scott said”Of the 343 number, one was a FDNY E.M.T. and one was a FDNY Chaplain.”

    Your “stating of the facts” is insulting and disrespectful. The good father and the EMT you mention are just as much a fellow firefighter as any of our fallen brother and sisters were.

    As far as the firefighters/police and other emergency service personal not being at the ceremony yesterday, I think the Mayor made a huge mistake. For one thing every firefighter is a “family member” of those that died that day. We have been and always will be brothers and sisters. I understand his reasoning, but, it wasn’t well thought out. The 343 firefighters, many police and other emergency personal that died at the site are among those 2983 loss soles. Unintentionally he insulted more than 10% of those that died and their families which is the true travesty.

    As far as the firefighters are concerned I think the service at the Riverside Drive monument was the appropriate place for us to remember. I am guessing many of the NYFD and the family members of the lost firefighters would agree. As firefighters we are one large family. Brothers and sisters always watching out for each other. A quiet dignified service to me is more respectful and truly reflects who we are and what we do. If I had been in New York that is where I would have been.

    I also extend a prayer to my fellow brother and sister police officers and other emergency responders we lost that day.

    I also extend a prayer to all those lost that day in in NY, DC and Pennsylvania and their families.

    Finally I extend a prayer to all of the solders we have lost since 9/11 and their family members.

  • George Scott

    Let’s correct the record.
    There were 341 Firefighters NOT 343.
    Of the 343 number, one was a FDNY E.M.T. and one was a FDNY Chaplain.
    Those additional two people being murdered in this attack were not firefighters; they did not put out fires. But that does not mean they didn’t die trying to help or save people.
    Please do not read into what I am saying – I’m only stating the facts.
    Another fact is: There were no female firefighters that perished that day doing their jobs.

    • jimmy

      343 is what every firefighter recognizes George. Get over it and do something useful with your life.

  • Sandra Aylward

    It’s a shame that you see any respect shown for the dedication and sacrifice of firefighters as something that “takes away” from that given to those serving in the military.
    I’m sure that men and women serving with the armed forces overseas appreciate that firefighters and others are keeping their families safe at home.
    For people who put themselves at risk to save the lives of others…no amount
    of “attention”, or gratitude, is enough.

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