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

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters face police as protest continues at Victoria government building

‘We are unarmed, they have guns,’ protesters chanted on Wednesday morning

Protesters block entrance to government building in support of Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Indigenous LNG supporters chide human rights advocates over pipeline comments

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nation councils along the pipeline’s 670-kilometre path

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Unist’ot’en requesting Environmental Assessment Office withhold CGL construction permits

The camp says CGL never mentioned healing centre in report to Environmental Assessment Office

VIDEO: Trudeau insists Iran respect families’ wishes when it comes to burials

All 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 were killed

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

B.C.’s first ride-hailing app to launch in Tofino, Whistler in February

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Councillor resigns in Revelstoke after colleagues approved 67% raise

Council approved a 134 per cent raise for the mayor of Revelstoke

Rolled-over dairy truck in Abbotsford lost 40,000 litres of milk

Truck removed Sunday, Jan. 19, with specialized equipment to upright vehicle

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ when screening for coronavirus

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

Most Read