On September 11, 2001, 2,753 people were killed in the terrorist attack directed at the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York (United States). Among the victims, 343 firefighters.
On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the attacks, the Côte-d’Or firefighters are organizing this Saturday, September 11, 2021 at the Transvaal barracks in Dijon a tribute to these firefighters who were killed while rescuing the occupants of the towers.
After a wreath laying and a minute of silence at 9.45 am, in the presence of officials, the firefighters climbed the ten-story fire station training tower 343 times. Between 60 and 70 firefighters from the metropolitan barracks have been taking turns for this sporting challenge since 10 a.m., when the first tower collapsed twenty years ago.
“It will be done in full bomber gear, with an air bottle on your back. The goal is to get to the top of the tower, symbolically ring a bell, and retrieve a photo of one of the New York firefighters who fell that day. Then bring it down to hang it on a table of honor which will be at the bottom of the tower, ”Commander Philippe Andreuccetti, head of the Dijon Transvaal barracks told us this Friday.
We wanted to do both a moment of contemplation and then a sporting challenge that was a bit like what they experienced when they got on the towers.
A strong moment for all the participants like Marilou Decaens: “I was little when it happened. In 2001, I was 4 years old. I was not really aware of what had happened, but I heard a lot about it from my parents, the media. It is a pride today to have made this event with all my colleagues, it shows solidarity “.
Lucas Renaud also wanted to pay tribute to his colleagues who perished 20 years ago. “Certainly they are colleagues on the other side of the ocean, but there are still firefighters who have fallen on an intervention. I find that it is just normal to pay them a tribute”.
“Collecting these photos is also part of the fire brigade spirit,” explains the fire station manager. That is to say, we are going to look for the colleague who fell […] Doing it in fire gear is also symbolic. We do not ride in tracksuits or light clothes, we ride as they are mounted. And yet, we are ten stories, while the Twin Towers were several dozen. “
“We plan to bring up a firefighter every 30 seconds to a minute,” explains Philippe Andreuccetti. The sporting challenge must last between 4h and 4h30. The barracks are not accessible to the public this Saturday, in particular for health reasons.
But those who wish are invited to participate in a fundraising event at the reception of the rescue center. The firefighters then intend to send the donations to an association of victims of the World Trade Center attacks.