Superior Fire, Police Remember Lives Lost, First Responders’ Ultimate Sacrifice on 9/11

343 New York firefighters were among those who perished. On Saturday in front of Superior Fire's headquarters, 343 flags waved in the wind at the cars passing by.

 

SUPERIOR, Wis.- On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, first responders in Superior gathered to honor the lives lost, and ensure future generations never forget the ultimate sacrifice of the law enforcement and firefighters.

At the sound of the bugle, the flag at U.W.S. lowers to half-staff.

Members of the Superior Fire and Police Departments, EMS and service members, and veterans come together for a moment of silence at 8:46 — the time when the first plane hit the first tower of the World Trade Center in New York, 20 years ago.

Thousands lost their lives that day, including hundreds of first responders who ran towards danger.

“One of the quotes from a survivor from one of the towers was: ‘we were going down the stairs to live, while the firefighters were going up the stairs to die.’ Those guys knew that that day and they still went up there,” said Superior Battalion Chief Camron Vollbrecht. “So I think we need to remember that forever.”

343 New York firefighters were among those who perished. On Saturday in front of Superior Fire’s headquarters on Tower Avenue, 343 flags waved in the wind at the cars passing by.

“It was a very powerful moment for all of us to be there putting in those flags,” said Capt. Suzi Olson.

Members of the Superior Firefighters Local 74 placed the flags there Friday.

As the years after the attacks go by, they say it serves not only as a memorial but a reminder to the next generation of the heroes who came before them.

“It personalizes the attacks a little bit, and I think it helps our members kind of understand the weight and gravity of 9/11,” said Capt. Olson, President of the union.

“We’re venturing into this new territory where a lot of our younger members on the Fire Department were not even born yet or were just toddlers in the attacks,” she said.

At the ceremony Saturday, Superior Police officers say it’s not only important to remember the attacks but to acknowledge where the nation’s come since. “The things that happened in New York affect us here. It changes how we respond to threats,” said Sgt. Adam Poskozim.

Sgt. Poskozim is one of many law enforcement officers who served before 9/11. He says he’s seen changes to their policies and how to respond to first responders who undergo trauma.

“You know we recently had the refinery incident,” he said, “and how do we take care of the people who respond to major incidents like that? We can look back on 9/11 and see that this is some of the stuff that was addressed back then and we can apply it here locally.”

20 years later officials say healing can only happen together.

“At this 20th anniversary on we look back, it can help bring us healing and now that time has passed, we can hopefully move forward and be a more unified country,” said Sgt. Poskozim

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