Despite the official event being cancelled, dozens of people gathered at Peace Arch Park on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
“All of us, in the police and fire service, military, we made a pledge to never forget. So even if it’s official, not-official, we’re going to show up every year on 9/11 and just pay our respects. We’re always going to be there,” said Dean Crosswhite, co-chair of the Northwest 9-11 Memorial Committee
First responders from both sides of the border came down to the monument to honour the nearly 3,000 people who were killed in the terror attacks 20 years ago.
It was also attended by five New York City police officers (some who have since retired) and one New York City firefighter who all served on Sept. 11, 2001.
The death toll included 343 New York firefighters, 71 law enforcement officers and two dozen Canadians.
“After a day, there wasn’t much we could do. The ground was littered in ash. It was just a recovery mission after that, but not one person complained,” said Brian McMahon, who worked on Sept. 11, 2001 and afterward helped in the recovery missions and coordinating relief efforts.
The decision to cancel the 20th anniversary ceremony was made shortly after the Aug. 20 announcement of the U.S.’s extension of its border closure to Canadians, Crosswhite previously told Black Press Media.
– With files from Tracy Holmes