By Tara Vocino
Approximately 75 members of the Fire and Police Departments held a 9/11 remembrance ceremony at the Fire Station on Tuesday, as issued by State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey.
Master of Ceremonies Chris Bright, who is Fire Chief, opened the 15-minute ceremony by ringing a bell, four sets of five chimes each. There then were moments of complete silence before a retired fire official read the firefighters’ prayer.
“So many things and thoughts come to mind,” Retired Fire Lt. James Caramello said, who read the firefighters’ prayer. “I read the prayer to be part of the healing of 9/11, an event that will never be forgotten. We remember the courage and bravery of 343 New York firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
“When I am called to duty, wherever flames may rage, give me the strength to save a life, whatever be its age,” Caramello read, who served for about 32 years. “Help me embrace a little child before it’s too late, or save an older person from the horror of that fate. Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout, and quickly and efficiently to put the fire out. I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me, to guard my every neighbor and protect his property. And if according to God’s will, I must answer death’s call, bless with Your protecting hand, my family, one and all.”
Fire Capt. Rob Fortuna said he lowered the station flag to half-mast as a symbol of respect to honor the lives’ lost.
“Today is a very solemn day for us,” Fortuna said after the ceremony. “I was in New York for the remembrances and attended a lot of funerals for our brothers and sisters lives’ who were lost dedicated to the line of duty.”
Fortuna said emergency medical services, police and civilians stepped up to individual heroism – “We don’t want to forget that, but at the same time, we never want to see that happen again.”
In fact, Bright – who helped dig through the rubble in New York – said after the ceremony that 9/11 alone inspired some of his guys to join the force. “There’s no draft. At least seven of our men went on to combat duty after, so that’s one great thing that came out of it once kids came of age.”
Newly hired Firefighter Manny Velez was in 5th grade at Beachmont when the towers were hit. “It was the first major event and ‘the real deal,’” Velez said after the ceremony. “When I saw heroes go into the burning building, I knew that I wanted to be a part of that. And before that, I had ‘the little kid dream’ of driving ‘the big red truck.’ And my dream came true.”
Newly hired firefighter Dave Serino was a sophomore at Dom Savio High School in East Boston. He joined the Marine Corps as a result of seeing the terrorist attack, and within the last few weeks, the Revere Fire Department. “It definitely impacted my career choice,” Serino said after the 15-minute ceremony.