City of St. Augustine Fire Department prepares for 9/11 ceremony of remembrance

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — On Sunday, September 11, 2022, the City of St. Augustine will continue its annual tradition of holding a Ceremony of Remembrance, in honor of those who died in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

The ceremony will be held at the St. Augustine Fire Department’s main station, 101 Malaga Street, on Sunday, September 11, at 8:30 a.m., and will be broadcast live online on the Fire Department’s Facebook page

The 15-minute program will include a presentation of the colors, a musical presentation, remarks by St. Augustine Fire Chief Carlos Aviles, and remarks by guest speaker Erin Durkin.

In years past, retired first responders who lived through the aftermath of the terrorist attack shared their stories with those who attended the ceremony. 

This year, Fire Chief Carlos Aviles has invited Erin Durkin, the wife of Gerard Durkin, who was the guest speaker in 2020.  Durkin’s sister also perished in the Twin Towers. 

“It is important that we never forget the family members of our first responders and what they went through as well on that horrific day,” Chief Aviles stated.  “What they endured, watching events unfold on television, completely helpless and only wanting to know their loved ones were safe… we need to embrace them as survivors and hear their stories, too.”

The ceremony will conclude with a minute of silence at 8:45 a.m., timed to coincide with the time the first plane hit the first tower of the World Trade Center in 2001. 

Then, the Fire Department will conduct the “Striking the Four 5′s” by ringing its historic 1900 Fire Bell in four intervals of five rings each. 

This is a time-honored tradition signifying the last alarm of a firefighter and will be performed in honor of the firefighters, law enforcement officers, military personnel and civilians who died on 9/11.

The city’s first Ceremony of Remembrance was held just two days after 9/11 and has continued each year on the anniversary of the attack.

For additional information, contact the Fire Department at (904)-825-1098 or send an email to cityfire@citystaug.com.  To learn more about the St. Augustine Fire Department, visit www.CityStAugFire.com.

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