Despite poor air quality and restrictions due to COVID-19, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue took time out of their day to remember the lives lost in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 2001.
In a short ceremony, NKFR Assistance Fire Chief Rick LaGrandeur stood outside the station in Kingston as other NKFR firefighters lowered the flags to half-staff in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 lives lost 19 years ago. The lives lost included 343 firefighters and 60 police officers.
The flags would fly at half staff until sunset.
“On September 11, 2001, our nation was forever changed. In the words of President George W. Bush: ‘That day, we watched unspeakable acts of evil unfold. But we also witnessed incredible courage, outpourings of human kindness and fierce solidarity. And that is what will be remembered, along with thousands of innocent souls who perished that day. September 11, 2001. Never forget,’” LaGrandeur said.
A moment of silence was held before he spoke again.
“September 11th has been designated as Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance.”
Normally, members of the NKFR hosts a free community breakfast and accepts donations for a local charity.
“It’s our way of honoring those who were lost on September 11, 2001 by doing good work in their names,” he said.
This year, due to pandemic restrictions, there was no breakfast, but NKFR firefighters, staff, volunteers and commissioners contributed to the Partnership Fund.
“This fund makes it possible for us to provide items such as bike helmets, life jackets, smoke alarms, and cab rides home from the hospital for those in need. This year, noting that the current school situation has put significant strain on working families, we’ve chosen to support the Boys & Girls Club of North Kitsap,” he said.
Members of the NKFR donated $1,000 to the club and presented the check to its director, Chelsea Tate.