Photo by Mary Mumbrue

Solemnity permeated the clear air at Firemen’s Park on Sept. 11. A piper accompanied the color guard, and Evanston Township High School sophomore Maple Conn sang the national anthem.

“Thirteen years ago on this day at this hour, terrorists attacked the United States,” said Fire Chief Greg Klaiber. “Three hundred forty-three firefighters and 60 police officers perished. Today, we are here to remember our first responders and the members of our military who made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said, “9/11 was a tragedy; 9/11 was a triumph. In the midst of a terrible tragedy, [the attack] showed the best of the human spirit. We honor those who … work each day to keep us safe.”

“Today, it is you … it is each of you … who would be moving toward the danger,” Fire and Police Chaplain David Jones said to the firefighters and police officers assembled at the park.

The ceremony concluded with the tolling of the fireman’s bell that signals the death of a fireman – three rings, three successive times. Then police officers and firefighters, and the residents and City officials who came to honor them, dispersed to their day.