As many as 150 people lined the street and sidewalk in front of the Bryn Mawr Fire Co. for the 10th annual 9/11 Memorial Ceremony on Sunday evening. The event, produced by the , pays tribute to the 343 members of the NYFD and 60 police of the NYPD and Port Authority Police and remembers the 2,819 people that died in the attacks of 9/11/2001.
The event consisted of music, speeches, videos and time to reflect. During the ceremony the names and photographs of the fallen first responders were shown on a large screen visible to all who attended. In addition to Bryn Mawr firemen, their comrades from , Narberth, Belmont Hills, Bala Cynwyd and Radnor participated in the event.
After Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Josephson opened the ceremony, speakers made brief presentations interlaced with the singing of patriotic songs by a choral group of students. The invocation was given by Reverend John Denny from Church. He was followed by Bryn Mawr Fire Co. President Charlie Dolan, who told the crowd about the origins and intentions of the event.
Lower Merion Township Commissioner Scott Zelov went to the podium to remind the crowd how the tragic event made a stronger nation. A video showing a compilation of photos taken on 9/11 and days thereafter followed.
Greg Skinner, who joined the Bryn Mawr Fire Department at the age of 19, is now the police chief in Peapack, NJ. He was also a volunteer EMT on 9/11, and he spent that day with his emergency medical crew waiting to treat and transport survivors who never came. He told of the day's events from personal experience.
Walt Hunter, television reporter at CBS in Philadelphia, was reporting on location in New York City after the Twin Towers collapsed. He related tales of people holding out hope that their loved ones would be found while all the time knowing it was hopeless. He spoke of people from the Philadelphia area who worked at the 9/11 site on rescue and then recovery duty. He said that every day there are new stories about people who were there to help—stories that have never been told. He believes that will go on for years to come.
The crowd learned of an old fire company tradition dating back to the era a bell sounded the fire alarm and the return of the firefighters after their work was done. Four Fives is the ringing of a fire bell five times with four repetitions. What once signaled the firefighters' return to station has become a remembrance of fallen first responders. Dan Hemcher, a 14-year veteran Bryn Mawr firefighter and former assistant chief rang the bell. The crisp clangs of the bell seemed to fit well.
The ceremony ended with remarks from Bryn Mawr Fire Chief Dan Kincade, who signaled the release of red, white and blue balloons into the air: one balloon for each fallen first responder. The searchlights of fire trucks illuminated the sky as the balloons rose upward.