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Anchorage firefighters remember the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack

Published: Sep. 12, 2021 at 8:54 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -A bright, sunny day filled downtown Anchorage on Saturday, similar to the day in New York City when terrorists attacked the twin towers exactly 20 years ago.

Firefighters and others filled the Alaska Fallen Firefighter Memorial to remember that day.

“We place flags for the fallen. We listen reverently as firefighters and public figures speak hoping to find something new to say,” said Anchorage Fire Chief Douglas Schrage. “Nothing new needs saying. Through these things, we keep alive of what they did on 9/11.”

Others recalled the helplessness they felt that day.

“We wanted to do something, we wanted to respond, we wanted to go somewhere,” said Mark Barker, chairman of the Alaska Fallen Firefighter Memorial Committee.

Some reminded the audience about how dangerous a firefighters’ job can be.

“This is what we do. Save lives and protect property,” said Mark Roberts, with the Alaska Fire/Police Chaplains. “Sometimes at a terrible, terrible cost,”

A bell tolled for each of the 37 Alaska firefighters who gave their lives in the line of duty. The names also included the most recent addition, Anchorage Firefighter Scott McClain, who died in October 2020 of what supervisors called work-related cancer.

McClain’s memory will live on as his family added his plaque to the wall, along with the others who lost their lives on this day when so many gave so much.

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