PHOTOS: Canada, U.S. first responders remember 9/11 victims at Peace Arch Park

A New York Police Department officer wipes away a tear during the Sept. 11 memorial ceremony at Peace Arch Park on Wednesday. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)
Emergency responders from America and Canada stood side-by-side Wednesday to remember the sacrifice, and civilian lives lost, during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Aaron Hinks photos)

At the foot of the Peace Arch – a Canadian and American monument to international harmony – hundreds of first responders from northern Washington and across the Lower Mainland gathered Wednesday to remember the lives lost on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

“The numbers are staggering,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection chief patrol agent Chris Bippley told the audience several times, as he read from his prepared remarks.

Two thousand, nine hundred and seventy-seven lives were lost that morning. The number includes individuals from 90 nations, 343 firefighters, 71 police officers, and two dozen Canadians.

Guest speakers at the 18th annual memorial, held at Peace Arch Park, not only acknowledged the victims of the tragedy, but told tales of the great heroes of the day. Special admiration was given to those who selflessly ran into the burning towers to save people they had never met.

SEE ALSO: Trump marks another 9/11 anniversary

Honoured guests included New York Police Department officers and family members of the first responders who died on that fateful day. They sat front-row, with some wiping away tears as U.S. and Canadian officials outlined the sacrifice that saved many hundreds of people.

“Tragically, in the years that followed, additional first responders died as a result of illness linked to the Ground Zero site,” Bippley said. “We will probably never know how many lives were saved or affected as a result of the rescue efforts of the first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“We will never know how many husbands or wives will be able to come home to their spouses; the number of parents who are able to hug their children again; or even the number of children born subsequent to those saved by the first responders.”

U.S. Consul General Katherine Dhanani issued a heartfelt thank you to Canadians, for their effort following the attack. She shared the story of Vancouver Island resident Mike Jellinek.

Jellinek was at the command of the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) in Colorado on Sept. 11.

It was Jellinek who, now famously, made the decision to shut down U.S. airspace. In the process, hundreds of commercial planes were diverted away from the United States to airports across Canada.

“And Canada, these planes that we were frightened of, Canada welcomed them,” Dhanani said.

Known as Operation Yellow Ribbon, 38 planes were ordered to land in Gander, Nfld.

“We also remember that 34 U.S.-bound planes landed here at YVR, and 8,500 displaced passengers were given comfort and assistance in this region, exemplifying once again the close relationship between our two nations,” Dhanani said.

“The support Canadians gave us in those uncertain, frighting moments was, and continues to be, deeply appreciated.”



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Team Jeffries prevails in Port Alberni Ladies Bonspiel

U21 Team Litton from Parksville/Qualicum comes second

School District 70 proposes new school names, asks for public feedback

Board of education suggests new names for the district and two of its schools

BUSINESS BEAT: 24-hour gym planned for Port Alberni

Jims Clothes Closet renovation a vote of confidence for business

Tofino Bus closes bus depot in Port Alberni

Island-wide bus service switching to curbside pickup, drop-off, says parent company

Maquinna Elementary wins SD70 school track meet

Neill School finished second, and Wickaninnish Elementary from Tofino finished third

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

1898 Yukon gold rush photo featuring Greta Thunberg look-alike sends internet into tailspin

Jokes erupted this week after a 120-year-old photo taken by Eric A. Hegg surfaced from archives

BC Ferries’ two new hybrid vessels set sail for B.C. from Romania

Two Island Class ferries to be in use by 2020

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

CN Rail strike and lack of trucking alternatives stoke forest industry fears

Companies calling on the federal government to ‘do everything in its power’ to end the strike

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

Pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era goes to Chrystia Freeland

B.C. mom, kids on bike turned away from Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

B.C. woman puts call out for 10,000 personal, heartfelt Christmas cards for the homeless

Christmas Card Collective enters into third year of making spirits bright

No turn signals, double-parking among top concerns for B.C. drivers: poll

Two-thirds of B.C. drivers said that not using turn signals was their biggest pet peeve

Most Read