As the sun set in Bellmore on Saturday, a crowd of first responders and Bellmore residents gathered for the Bellmore Fire Department’s annual Sept. 11 Memorial Service. Joined by the neighboring North Bellmore Fire Department, the quiet evening was a reflection of the solemn mood felt by those who gathered to mark the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
The ceremony was held at the department’s headquarters, located on Pettit Avenue, where the department has a memorial dedicated to those lost in the attacks. Following the playing of the National Anthem, speeches were given by longtime members of the department who reflected on the important anniversary. Former chief Thomas Stoerger read the names of those who died in the department, as well as the names of those who passed in the Bellmore community.
The department lost volunteers and New York City firefighters Kevin Prior and Adam Rand who died while performing rescue operations on the day of the attacks. In 2008, they also lost volunteer firefighter Sean McCarthy who responded to Ground Zero, and passed away due to a 9/11-related cancer.
Their families took part in the ceremony, who walked wreaths and flower bouquets in their memory to the memorial.
“Our memories of 9/11 are still so vivid as we remember and honor the names of the 2,752 people who died here in New York City — etched forever in stone at that sacred and hallowed place,” said Department Chaplain Rev. James Barnum. “We have been forever changed by this day.”