This was the first year the city hosted a memorial walk over the Granada Bridge.
About 200 citizens walked the Granada Bridge in Ormond Beach on Sept. 11, on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, in memory of the 2,977 victims who lost their lives that morning.
This was the first time the city of Ormond Beach hosted a memorial walk. Ormond Beach firefighters, many wearing their full firefighting gear, led the large crowd. Some crossed the bridge more than once, in recognition of the 110 steps firefighters had to climb on 9/11, a distance that totals about 2 miles.
Ormond Beach Fire Chief Richard Sievers opened the short ceremony prior to the walk, which also included a proclamation read by Ormond Beach City Commissioner and Deputy Mayor Susan Persis. Sievers thanked those in attendance, and reminded them of the number of first responders who died in the attack.
At the World Trade Center complex, the casualties included 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers.
We all have our own 9/11 stories, said Sievers; his wife Sharon is a flight attendant with American Airlines and had been on her way to work that morning 20 years ago. He said he knows the residents of Ormond Beach will never forget what happened on 9/11.
“And I know the Fire Department of Ormond Beach will never forget the 343 firefighters that gave that ultimate sacrifice," he said.
The city is also raising funds for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, on behalf of local first responders. The foundation's Fallen First Responder Home Program aims to pay off the mortgages of law enforcement officers and firefighters who die in the line of duty, or due to an illness caused by 9/11, leaving behind young children. It was created in honor of New York Firefighter Stephen Siller, who died on 9/11 while responding to the attacks at the twin towers.
The city has raised $655 of its $2,500 goal.