London firefighters and other dignitaries attended a special ceremony marking the 12th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Wednesday’s ceremony at Fire Station #1 on Horton Street honoured not only the first responders who lost their lives 12 years ago, but all London firefighters who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“When I was 21 years old serving on this department an officer died in my arms on Richmond Street,” said Retired Deputy Chief Peter Harding. “I was just wondering if I had the right job or not at that time, but things have worked out since then.”

The London fire department now has its own monument with the names of all 22 firefighters killed in the line of duty. Their names were read aloud during Wednesday’s emotional ceremony.

Even though the years have passed since the horrific events in New York, Harding remembers them well. His son, Paul, was part of the full medic group that was sent to Ground Zero in the aftermath of September 11th.

“They were assigned to the actual pit (at Ground Zero) where they were retrieving bodies from,” said Harding. “He worked two days there then he was reassigned to transport firefighters that became ill from the effects of working on site.”

Harding says his son was one of the few Canadians to receive a 9/11 bravery medal from the US government, but he still suffers from trauma.

New York City, still scarred from the attacks that brought down the Twin Towers, began its ceremony Wednesday with a solemn bell toll and a moment of silence at the World Trade Center site.

Ceremonies were also held at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.


via AM 980 News Talk Radio