Area police, firefighters remember first responders lost on 9/11

  • Hadley firefighter Robert Adair rings four sets of five chimes, the 5-5-5-5 code signaling the death of a firefighter, on the bell of Engine 4 during a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony conducted by Hadley fire and police departments in front of Town Hall, Monday, the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • The Hadley Fire and Police Departments conduct a 9-11-01 memorial ceremony in front of the Town Hall on Monday, September 11, 2017. From left are retired Hadley firefighter Tim O'Hara and administrative assistant Lauren Triggs (with backs to camera), Hadley fire lieutenants Rich Blajda and Nick McKenna, firefighter Johnny Mieczkowski Jr., Hadley police officer Michael Romano, police chief Michael Mason and officer Ken Hartwright. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hadley firefighter Johnny Mieczkowski Jr. lowers the flag in front of Hadley Town Hall to half-staff during a 9-11-01 memorial ceremony conducted by the Hadley fire and police departments on Monday, September 11, 2017. From left are police officer Ken Hartwright, chief Michael Mason and officer Michael Romano, Hadley fire lieutenants Nick McKenna and Rich Balajda, administrative assistant Lauren Triggs and retired Hadley firefighter Tim O'Hara. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

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    Hadley Fire Chief Michael Spanknebel reads the "Firefighter's Prayer" during a 9-11-01 memorial ceremony conducted by the Hadley fire and police departments in front of the Town Hall on Monday, September 11, 2017. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hadley firefighter Johnny Mieczkowski Jr. lowers the flag in front of Hadley Town Hall to half-staff during a 9-11-01 memorial ceremony conducted by the Hadley fire and police departments on Monday, September 11, 2017. From left are police officer Ken Hartwright, chief Michael Mason and officer Michael Romano, Hadley fire lieutenants Nick McKenna and Rich Balajda, administrative assistant Lauren Triggs and retired Hadley firefighter Tim O'Hara. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hadley firefighter Johnny Mieczkowski Jr., left, lieutenants Nick McKenna and Rich Balajda, Lauren Triggs, administrative assistant to the police chief, and retired Hadley firefighter Tim O'Hara observe a moment of silence during a 9-11-01 memorial ceremony conducted by Hadley fire and police departments in front of Town Hall on Monday, September 11, 2017. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

@kate_ashworth
Published: 9/11/2017 8:48:30 PM

HADLEY — Residents gathered on the steps of Town Hall Monday morning, watching the fire department raise and lower the flag to half-staff. They stood there for a moment of silence that was broken by the sound of cars and trucks driving by on Route 9.

A firefighter rang a bell, four sets of five chimes. The 5-5-5-5 code signals the death of a firefighter.

Fire Chief Michael Spanknebel said prayers for the firefighters and police officers.

Lauren Triggs, the administrative assistant to the Hadley chief of police, held a flag with the names of emergency services personnel who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

In Easthampton, the fire and police departments gathered in front of the public safety complex. The ceremony was recorded on Facebook live. Officers and firefighters stood in a line, saluted the colors and bowed their heads for a moment of silence.

Police Chief Robert Alberti said 403 first responders died on Sept. 11, 2001.

“Because of their selfless acts of heroism,” Alberti said, “many thousands were saved.”

Alberti said the ceremony was to honor those who perished during the Sept. 11 attacks, and also to honor those who risk their lives every day to protect America’s way of life.

“Let us not forget the men and women in uniform who have died in the last 16 years fighting for our freedom,” Fire Chief David Mottor said.

Caitlin Ashworth can be reached at cashworth@gazettenet.com.




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