9/11 remembered: Firefighters climb 110 floors


At a remembrance ceremony honoring the lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, members of the Edgartown Fire Department gathered at Memorial Wharf early Sunday morning. 

Engine truck bells rang as the American flag was raised and then lowered to half-staff, followed by a moment of silence in recognition of the victims of the attack and the brave emergency responders who put their lives on the line in the name of duty 21 years ago. 

Edgartown Fire Chief Alex Schaeffer cited prayer for the departed: “O God, we remember before you this day our brothers and sisters lost on September 11, 2001. Thank you for their example of courage and sacrifice. In your boundless compassion, console their families, friends, coworkers, and all who mourn their loss. Give us faith to see in death the fate of eternal life, so in quiet confidence we may continue our journey to serve with honor, dignity, and courage.” 

Fire Capt. Kara Shemeth recited the firefighter’s prayer. 

“When I am called to duty,
wherever flames may rage,
give me strength to save a life,
whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child
before it is too late,
or save an older person from
the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert,
and hear the weakest shout,
quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling,
to give the best in me,
to guard my every neighbor,
and protect their property.
And if according to God’s will
I must answer death’s call,
bless with your protecting hand,
my family one and all.”

After the flag was raised from half-staff, firefighters geared up, climbing into heavy flame-resistant apparel and with air packs for a group stair climb, ascending and descending the Wharf’s imperial staircase 55 times, symbolizing the number of floors in each Twin Tower. 




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