KING COUNTY, WA – On Sept. 11, firefighters across King County will honor the men and women who lost their lives during the tragic events of 9/11 in New York City, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many fire departments are unable to hold in-person memorial events for members of the public. Even though we will change how we memorialize those who have lost their lives that day, the gravity of their sacrifice will be felt deeply in our hearts and minds.
Below are a few ways fire departments locally are honoring the anniversary:
Seattle Fire Department:
At 8 a.m., Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins will join Seattle Police Interim Chief Adrian Diaz in raising the U.S. flag on the Space Needle. At 8:46 a.m., fire stations will each hold moments of silence and read the names of firefighters who perished on 9/11. This time represents the moment Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center between floors 93 and 99. Due to social distancing and tight quarters at the Space Needle, this event is closed to the media but will be livestreamed from Seattle Fire’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/seattlefire.
South King Fire and Rescue:
South King Fire and Rescue has the most complete 9/11 Memorial on the West Coast. Located in front of Fire Station 64 at 3700 S. 320th in Federal Way the Memorial holds memorabilia from all three of the Sept. 11 crash sites. In place of their annual memorial ceremony open to the public, the department has created a video tribute to honor individuals who lost their lives, and their family members who continue to suffer from the impacts of the tragic day: 9/11 Tribute 2020.
The memorial is maintained by donations made to the South King Firefighters Foundation (www.firefightersfoundation.org). Members of the public are invited to stop by the outdoor memorial at any time, and maintain social distancing.
A small event for South King Fire and Rescue personnel only will be held at the memorial site at 8:30 a.m. Media interested in attending should contact Captain Brad Chaney at email@example.com, and arrive by 8:15 a.m.
More information on the artifacts located at the South King Fire and Rescue Memorial Site, from the three crash sites:
- New York, NY: A 12-foot and 1,216 pound steel beam from the World Trade Center Twin Towers. The beam was picked up from New York and Transported to Federal Way by two firefighters in 2011, and is mounted so that it points toward New York City.
- Shanksville, PA: A stone excavated from the field where Flight 93 crashed into after Todd Beamer and other passengers and crew wrestled the plane from terrorists, preventing the plane from reaching its presumed destination of Washington DC.
- Washington D.C.: A limestone building block from the Pentagon shipped to Federal Way by Alaska Airlines with the aid of the Washington D.C. Fire Department.
These artifacts are surrounded by a black granite wall with the names of each of the 2,977 people that lost their lives in the attack including 343 firefighters and 60 police officers. There is also a display at the memorial of a pair of bronzed combat boots dedicated to the military personnel that continue to battle global terrorism. Behind those boots is this quote from John Kennedy’s January 20, 1961 Inaugural Address: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty”.
Dispatchers will relay a tribute over radio channels while the crews in the district they serve have a moment of silence.