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COMMEMORATIVE EVENT INVOLVES RESPONDERS FROM ACROSS TEXAS AT ICONIC LANDMARK ON ANNIVERSARY OF TERRORIST ATTACKS
The La Salle County Fire Rescue has been selected as the lead agency in a commemorative event at the Tower of the Americas in San Antonio on Monday, September 11.
The annual Tower Climb serves as a live-action memorial to hundreds of firefighters and emergency responders who died in New York City when terrorists used hijacked jetliners to strike the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
Several firefighting agencies are chosen each year by organizers to take part in the commemorative event in downtown San Antonio. Firefighters climb the tower’s staircase twice, carrying full emergency responder gear and tags bearing the names of all those who died in responding to the strike at the World Trade Center.
Fire Chief Daniel Mendez said last week that as lead agency in the event, La Salle’s firefighters will be the first to climb the tower.
The event includes a short parade and a ceremony at the base of the Tower of the Americas on the 22nd anniversary of the terrorist attack.
“There will be a bell rung to mark the moment when the first aircraft hit the World Trade Center, and then another for the second strike,” Mendez said. “After that, there will be bells rung for the moments when the towers collapsed, killing so many emergency responders as well as the many people who were trapped in the burning buildings.”
The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States also included an aircraft strike on the Pentagon and the crash of a hijacked jetliner that is believed to have been targeting Washington, DC. The terrorist attacks by 19 hijackers claimed the lives of 2,977 people.
The Fire Department of New York has listed the death toll among firefighters and emergency responders at the Twin Towers at 343, killed when the buildings collapsed or from smoke inhalation and other effects of the attack.
“We are proud to be a part of the event, and especially proud to have been chosen as the lead agency,” Chief Mendez said of this year’s commemoration in San Antonio. “It is important for everyone to recall and appreciate the sacrifice that so many responders made in their attempts to rescue the innocent victims of the terror attacks. It is deeply significant to us, to carry their names as our firefighters climb the tower.”
The Tower of the Americas was built for the 1968 Hemisfair to mark San Antonio’s 250th anniversary. The structure predates the Twin Towers completion by five years, although portions of the World Trade Center had been occupied since 1970.