As Sunday morning dawns on the West Coast, it will mark 10 years to the hour since the tragedy of 9-11 began, as 19 terrorists took control of four commercial airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, killing nearly 3,000 people and injuring another 6,000.
And though a decade has passed since that sunny, late summer morning in September, 2001, memories of the grief and horror of that day remain, as do recollections of the singular acts of heroism and self-sacrifice they spawned.
On Sunday afternoon, the City of Langley Fire Department will mark the sombre anniversary with a ceremony outside the hall on 203 Street, beginning at 1 p.m.
“It’s turning into a pretty formal affair,” said assistant chief Pete Methot.
The service, which he expects will run about half an hour, will include a piper and colour party as well as remarks from Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender and MLA Mary Polak.
The public is welcome to join them, Methot said, in recognizing the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks which killed 343 firefighters from New York City and the surrounding boroughs, and drew rescue service personnel from across the continent to Ground Zero to help in their aftermath.
While many people may choose to travel to the U.S. border south of Abbotsford, to participate in an international service, Methot said the department felt it would be appropriate to hold a ceremony closer to home.
“We wanted to do something. There’s a larger ceremony at Sumas, but it’s important that the crew on duty is involved in something to mark the 10-year anniversary,” he said.
The Township of Langley fire department, meanwhile, will hold a small service outside Hall 6 in Murrayville, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Chief Stephen Gamble will attend and members of the Langley RCMP have been invited to take part as well. The public is also welcome to come and pay their respects. The Sumas ceremony begins at 10 a.m.