SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of firefighters and police officers were among the thousands of people were killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
This national tragedy left a lasting impact on the first responders who protect us in western Massachusetts. Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Hundreds who died were firefighters trying to save people who were trapped inside the burning World Trade Center.
Springfield Fire Commissioner B.J. Calvi said, “343 firefighters from the New York Fire Department paid the ultimate sacrifice. They did a job that all of us are doing every day of the week, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.”
“It happened in New York City, but in the fire service it can happen anywhere and anytime,” said the fire commissioner.
September 11 was the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil but there were many acts of heroism by both civilians and first responders. Its impact was felt by first responders who serve in western Massachusetts.
“From that day forward the fire service and police departments preparing locally all around the country at the justification level for an event like that which could occur at a moments notice,” said Commissioner Calvi.
Many Springfield Police officers went to New York City after the attacks to assist in the recovery effort. Acting Springfield Police Commissioner, Cheryl Clapprood, said it’s a first responders’ duty to fight through fear to help others.
“What you have in common is the ability to be afraid but continue on. It’s something you train for but it’s built inside us,” said Acting Commissioner Clapprood. “We have that ability to say we’re are afraid but deal with it and keep going.”
The 9/11 Monument at the newly renovated Riverfront Park has the names of 498 first responders etched into it. To commemorate those who sacrificed their lives helping others.