The nearly 3,000 lives lost in a series of terrorist attacks almost a decade ago on Sept. 11, 2001, should never be forgotten.
That was the message conveyed Friday at a memorial hosted by Louisiana State Police and the state Fire Marshal’s Office.
The purpose of the event was to remember those who lost their lives during the tragedy and to honor those who attempted to save the fallen.
“As we move forward to the future, we can’t forget the past,” Col. Mike Edmonson said at the event at the Fire Marshal’s headquarters on Independence Boulevard. “We owe it to those families never to forget the job they did that day.”
Fire Marshal Butch Browning agreed and said “we have the freedom, the security and the safety we do today because of the lives lost that day and the military lives lost since.”
To remember the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, and the first responders who selflessly tried to help those in need, a bell was rung and a candle was lit for each of the four terrorist attacks. “Amazing Grace” was played on the bagpipes.
Chris Ferrara, of Ferrara Fire Apparatus Inc. in Holden, said to further the remembrance of Sept. 11, 2001, victims he, Browning and other Louisiana firefighters are working to open a state fire service museum.
Ferrara helped build “The Spirit of Louisiana,” a fire truck donated by the state to the New York City Fire Department after the terrorist attacks.
The truck, which was paid for by donations from across Louisiana, was returned to the state by New York firefighters in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The truck now sits at the Fire Marshal’s headquarters and is used for educational purposes.
Ferrara said the truck would be one of many artifacts displayed in the museum called The Spirit of Louisiana Fire Service Museum.
A foundation is currently being set up to raise money for the museum, Browning said, adding that the museum would not only showcase items related to Sept. 11, 2001, but exhibits related to fire prevention and fire service.
The building of “The Spirit of Louisiana” was our initial effort in the country’s healing process after Sept. 11, 2001, Browning said.
“We would like to continue that process through this museum,” he said.