TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - About 30 first responders were honored by the Rotary Club of Tucson on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The honor was done not only to remember the events of that fateful day but also to show appreciation for the services first responders provide to the community on a daily basis.
It’s been 18 years since the attack on the World Trade Center and there’s been concern that as time passes, emotions wane giving way to a tendency to forget the sacrifices made by the 412 first responders who died.
The Rotary Club of Tucson wants the community to know it won’t forget.
The first responders were led into the luncheon by the sound of bagpipes and each sat at a table in a white draped chair reserved for them, an opportunity for the members to learn about what they do and a chance to thank them for their service.
A video of Don Rowan, a former N.Y. firefighter who was at 9/11, was played where he recounted the terror of the events, the emotion he felt and he thanked the Rotary for remembering.
Rowan was at ground zero for 72 hours before being ordered to go home. Ten of his 15 men died that day.
“I didn’t want to leave,” he said.
But he also brought attention to the fact he attends two to three funerals a year in New York for victims of 9/11 who are still dying.
Five times more first responders who were at ground zero have died from disease, such as cancer, than died on 9/11.