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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mid-Isle Soccer’s Girl Power program empowers girls to build their dreams

Girl Power celebrated Canadian soccer sta, Christine Sinclair’s new world record for career goals

Council approves two retail cannabis stores for Ladysmith

Their applications are now in the hands of the provincial government

Ladysmith Heritage Awards honour commitments to preserving local history

Four awards were given at the first ever Ladysmith Heritage Awards ceremony

Exclusive: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

Anderson says she can pay her own bills. Peters denies making comments suggesting she can’t

UPDATE – Chemainus Secondary School fire being investigated as suspicious

Classes cancelled Friday due to ongoing investigation and damage

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Most Read