SOUTH WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn., (WTNH)– Connecticut firefighters and recruits are honoring those who perished on 9/11 on Friday, Sept. 10.
Hundreds of firefighters lost their lives that day. Today, the fire service held a moment of silence in their honor, vowing to never forget.
20 years doesn’t feel so long ago for Angela Higgins, a Brandford Selectman who lost her husband, Joe, just over a year ago.
“He lost 73 personal friends out of the 343 members we lost that day,” Angela said.
Joe was a member of the New York Fire Department. When the 9/11 attacks happened, he was Ground Zero. He was credited with rescuing their daughter, who was amongst the rubble and smoke just two blocks away from the attack.
“I can still feel that today,” Angela said. “I can still feel that feeling that I had felt so lost. So many, so many people lost so many.”
Angela was a distinguished guest Friday outside the State of Connecticut’s Firefighter’s Memorial where flags were lowered in honor of the 412 Emergency Responders, and the nearly 3,000 people who died on Sept. 11.
“I’m here because of Joe. Because he championed that we should always remember. Let our young people know what happened in our country,” Angelas said.
And that’s precisely what fire departments across Connecticut did.
“Today is not, and should not be about us,” said P.J. Norwood, Director of Training at the Connecticut Fire Academy. “It must be about those who were killed. Those that were impacted emotionally and physically. And those that are still fighting today from complications about their exposure, their response to that day.”
Over 40 percent of the victims from 9/11 have not been identified through DNA evidence. Thousands have perished after working in the rubble.
For people like Angela with personal connections to that day, 9/11 will always be a day of remembrance no matter how many years go by.