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NYC firefighters not invited to 10th anniv of 9/11 at Ground Zero

Copyright: 9-1-1 Magazine, Feature Content

Date: 2011-08-24
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"NYC firefighters not invited to 10th anniv of 9/11 at Ground Zero. They werent invited on that day in 2001 either. They just showed up."  - Dennis Leary on Twitter

In a report posted by the New York Daily News on August 13th, first responders will not be invited to this year’s 9/11 ceremony at Ground Zero. That’s the word from city officials who say there isn’t enough room for the tens of thousands of firefighters, police and other rescue workers.

According to the Daily News report, security issues and making sure that all of the victims’ families will be able to participate in the 10th anniversary of 9/11 contributed to first responders not being invited to the ceremony.

A construction worker at Ground Zero named Phil told the Daily News that the city needs to figure out a way to have first responders at this anniversary. “I think that they should be allowed to go because too many of their brothers and sisters lost their lives and they should be the first ones that are included,” he said. “They should make it happen. I’m sure there are going to be a lot of people here who shouldn’t be here.”

First responders will reportedly be given a separate ceremony at a later date. 

I understand the politics and logistical considerations faced by the City of New York in organizing such an event, and agree that the families of the fallen should have our primary attention, but it seems misplaced and incredibly inappropriate to summarily exclude first responders - whose duty, dedication, and (for many of them) sacrifice were and are essential to the tragic events of that day - from being part of our national day of remembrance.

Among the many angry responses circulating throughout the public safety and search & rescue communities, I found one that seemed to hit the heart of the matter, posted by Dennis Leary on Twitter: "NYC firefighters not invited to 10th anniv of 9/11 at Ground Zero. They werent invited on that day in 2001 either. They just showed up."

I think it's also noteworthy that the voices behind the first responders - the dispatchers that got them there, coordinated the massive inflex of resources, personnel, and requests in and out of Ground Zero in New York City, and were the last to hear many of the 9/11 victims of who called 9-1-1 while trapped in the Towers, seem to have fallen off the radar entirely in terms of participation at the anniversary activities.  Hopefully our brothers and sisters of the New York City microphones will be recognized in some way during the anniversary event.

In the meantime, 9-1-1 Magazine columnist and veteran PSAP Manager Barry Furey suggested recently that dispatch centers nationwide hold their own anniversary event via recognizing a moment of silence at the time the towers fell - see our story about that here.

- Randall D. Larson/Editor,


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Posted by: amandaowen
Date: 2011-09-08 07:10:43
Subject: From Canada

This is just sad, if they don't have enough room they should MAKE ROOM for those who risked there lives on that day, what is wrong with the world, for all those who risk there lives on a day to day basis THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart and to captain03435908 thank you for what you do.
Posted by: captain03435908
Date: 2011-09-02 01:02:19
Company: EMS
Title: Captain
Subject: First Responder WTC 9/11

As the NYC Fire Fighters, Police Officers, EMS and First Responders. We did not need to be asked or invited on that day in 2001. We all showed up and responded as a team to help in a time of need. We all knew the dangers to our own life, but we still showed up without any reservations. I did my duty and will do it all over again if need be. WITHOUT any invitation from any city officials or whom ever. Up to this day, I have never received a Thank you from any city official or organization. Do I care ? - NO. GOD knows - that is all that matters to me.

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