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

Just Posted

Multiple crashes, including a bus, plague Highway 97

Thursday’s evening commute in Kelowna slowed by collisions

Health minister announces new urgent care centre in Kelowna

Adrian Dix made the annoucment Thursday at the Capri Centre

Provincial Mobile Medical Unit makes an appearance in Kelowna

The high tech hospital on wheels provides medical care for rural communities and during emergencies

Special Olympics fundraiser comes to downtown Kelowna

motionball Marathon of Sport kicks-off in City Park Saturday

Private sector development will create housing affordability: Wilkinson

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkenson spoke in Kelowna during a real estate conference

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

South Okanagan driver held at gunpoint, car-jacked on East Side Road

Penticton RCMP are asking for the public to keep an eye out for the suspect, stolen vehicle

VIDEO: Tempers flare during Sagmoen’s police interview

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

Cross-Canada cyclist riding for sobriety makes next B.C. stop

BMX biker Mat Fee stopped during the final leg of his charity bike ride in Sicamous

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Most Read