CFD will host 18th Annual 9/11 First Responders Remembrance Ceremony
In the 2018 CFD 9/11 ceremony, the ceremonial wreath was brought forward by Shelby fireman Quentin Cash and Cpl. Nicole Massey, of GEMS. (Eagle file photo by Michael E. Powell)
by MICHAEL E. POWELL
The Cherryville Fire Department’s 18th Annual September 11th Ceremony will be held Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 at 9 a.m., according to information from the department.
City Manager and Fire Chief Jeff Cash noted, “It will be held outside, weather permitting, at the Cherryville Fire Department”, which is located across from Rudisill Stadium on W. Academy Street (Hwy. 150).
“In the event of inclement weather, we will hold the ceremony inside of the fire department bay area,’ he added.
The purpose of the Sept. 11, Annual Remembrance Ceremony is for us, he said, to never forget those who gave their all for others.
At the 2018 service, in addition to Chief Cash and Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam, III, U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry was present at the CFD station house to honor the memory of the more than 3,000 fallen firefighters, policemen and women, and EMTs who died when the two towers fell on that bright September morning in 2001.
Mayor Beam said then, “We want to send forth our personal message to remember them all. We do remember and we will never forget!”
The 2018 event was attended by fourth and fifth-grade students from nearby W. Blaine Beam Intermediate.
They were brought over by their Principal Todd Dellinger and their teachers to partake in the ceremony. It was pointed out then that though none of them there were born when the event happened, the children all knew it was a solemn occasion and were very respectful.
Chief Cash said in the 2018 Eagle article it was the largest turn-out of individuals in the past few years.
“We all have our own stories of where we were when this happened,” Cash said then.
“I was at my desk at the fire department at the City Hall that day. I saw what I thought was a replay of the first plane hitting but it was a real-time video of the second plane striking the second tower.”
Chief Cash added the NYFD lost 343 firefighters that day, in addition to the 23 NYPD and 37 Port Authority officers who lost their lives trying to help others to safety or take them away from the horror, flames, and falling debris.
Cherryville Police Chief Cam Jenks noted as well at that 2018 event there were more law enforcement officials who lost their lives that day than ever in the history of U.S. law enforcement.
In his address that day in 2018, N.C. Congressman Patrick McHenry said, “We all remember how affected we were on that day. It is rare for us to be hit by a foreign enemy on our own soil by very bad people.”
The Congressman, remembering his own story that day, asked those in the 2018 crowd to remember where they were on that morning, noting Chief Cash’s memory of the moment.
Said McHenry, “I was in Washington, D.C., that day. I remember seeing the smoke from the Pentagon (hit). Because of that, I try to remember those who serve us every day.”
McHenry talked of the first responders who ran toward the direction of the terrible destruction, of how they overcame their fear in order to help save the lives of others.
He continued then, “On this day we should remember all of our first responders. When the bell rings, they go. We should always remember to say ‘thanks’ to their families too. So too, today, we say ‘thank you’ to all of our men and women in uniform.”
McHenry added his personal thanks for their service to all the local firefighters, law enforcement, and EMT personnel present at the ceremony.
“To you men and women, today we show a grateful heart for all you do,” he said. “This is what it means to be an American.”
Assistant Chief Jason Wofford read then the “Tolling of the Bell” tradition; the 5-5-5 measured bell peals signifying the firefighter has returned home. D/E Kurt Black tolled the bell afterwards. This act has been a staple of the ceremony since it began in Cherryville.