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

Rio Tinto responds to U.S. aluminum import tariffs

The tariffs were imposed by President Donald Trump Aug. 6

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

SD54 and SD91 figuring out a back to school plan

B.C. government hopes to get students back to in-person classes

Granisle receives $4.3 million funding for Wastewater Treatment plant upgrade

The village will finally get to upgrade the 49 years old plant

Provincial grant boosted District projects

The 2019 annual report released

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

T-Rex earns big bids at B.C. dino auction

Over 500 dino-themed lots sold to buyers from across North America

Most Read