Never Forgotten: 9/11 victims honored at Patriot Day ceremony

Published 3:34 pm Tuesday, September 11, 2018


HOOVER – Firefighters, police officers, city leaders and residents honored the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in a Patriot Day Remembrance Ceremony at Hoover Fire Station No. 2 on Tuesday, the 17th anniversary of the largest terrorist attack on American soil.

“It was a beautiful day just like this 17 years ago,” Brig. Gen. Paul A. Pocopanni Jr. said in his keynote speech. “We honor and praise the men and women who gave their lives. This tragic event changed our lives forever.”

Pocopanni shared the numbers of fatalities from New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania – the three areas where 19 hijackers crashed four commercial airliners – and other sobering statistics about the nearly 3,000 victims, of which 1,642 have been positively identified.

“The numbers are staggering,” he said. “Today, we’re here to honor the fallen heroes of 9/11. First responders all face danger head-on. They have my respect and admiration.”

A firefighter rang a bell in remembrance of the victims, and Hoover City Schools choir students sang the song “Tell My Father.”

Mayor Frank Brocato thanked all who attended the ceremony, noting the heightened spirit of unity among Americans that followed the tragic events.

“That’s how we do as a country,” he said. “We, too, rise out of the ashes and pull together in difficult times.”

Fire Chief Clay Bentley emphasized the importance of remembering the events and paying tribute to the fallen men and women each year, even if it means revisiting the pain.

“These are some bad memories, but it’s also a time for healing,” he said. “We just appreciate everyone being here.”