09/09/18 — 9/11 memorial services set for Tuesday

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9/11 memorial services set for Tuesday

By Steve Herring
Published in News on September 9, 2018 7:48 AM

Wayne UNC Health Care, Wayne Community College and Rosewood High School are planning ceremonies Tuesday to commemorate to the anniversary of the devastating Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives.

Wayne UNC Health Care will host a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. at the campus flagpole to honor and recognize military personnel, first responders and their families.

With planned attendance by state and local dignitaries, including U.S. Rep. David Rouzer, the program will feature patriotic music, remarks from Wayne UNC and Goldsboro officials and a special recognition of North Carolina residents who perished in the attacks.

Rosewood High School will host its remembrance at 9 a.m. in the school gym when it also will honor all first responders.

It will be conducted by the school's ROTC cadets.

Wayne Community College's Public Safety Division will hold an event to honor the responders who lost their lives as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

In what has become an annual activity at the college, paramedic students and basic law enforcement cadets, joined by some of their professional brethren, will climb 78 flights of stairs to pay tribute to the first responders who perished in the attacks.

WCC paramedic instructor David Cuddeback initiated the run and leads the students in the memorial exercise every year.

Remembering and honoring those who sacrificed their lives is important, he said.

Having his students thinking about specific individuals while experiencing some of what they did, drives home the concept of selflessness.

The public is invited to attend and cheer on the participants.

The climb will begin about 9:30 a.m. on the external staircases and the breezeway across the outside of the Magnolia Building (facing the campus' quad). It ends when all participants have finished.

Prior to the climb, the students and any firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical technicians who wish to join them will gather for a short talk about the events of 9/11 and the meaning of the run.

They will review the names of the 403 public safety personnel -- 343 New York City firefighters, 23 New York City police officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers -- who died in the line of duty that day, and each will choose an individual to whom they will dedicate their efforts.

The participants will then suit up and have a moment of reflection.

They will move to the Magnolia Building where they will complete 39 laps which equals 78 flights by running up one exterior stairwell, across the breezeway, and down the other exterior stairwell.

The 78 floors mark the highest level first responders were able to reach in the World Trade Center's South Tower before it collapsed.

The paramedic students will wear turnout gear and carry equipment such as tanks and hoses that add 50 to 75 pounds to their bodies.

As the event progresses, law enforcement cadets usually take some of the clothing and equipment from their first responder brethren and wear and carry it.

They have also been known to continue the circuit beyond the target number of laps so that everyone finishes together.

In 2017 the NC General Assembly designated Sept. 11 of each year as First Responder Day.

The date was chosen in recognition of the sacrifices made by first responders at the World Trade Center attack in New York.

Fire departments across the state will hold various festivities on First Responder Day including everything from ringing the community fire alarm to formal 9/11 services.

More than 50,000 firefighters, both career and volunteer, serve 1,376 fire departments in North Carolina , said Tim Bradley, executive director of the N.C. State Firefighters' Association.

"After the attacks on 9/11/01 we vowed to never forget the sacrifices made that day by first responders, 343 of whom were firefighters," he said.

"Having this day each year as a state holiday will help keep the recognition of that sacrifice alive, and continue to honor those who serve their community with sacrifices every day."