SIDNEY, Ky. - Displayed proudly from atop a 110-foot ladder on a fire truck, the Big Creek Volunteer Fire Department honored those who died during the 9/11 tragedy 10 years ago on Sunday by flying a 30-by-50 foot American flag.
The fire truck that had its ladder raised was once stationed at Washington, D.C. Fire Department Station 33. That fire department responded to the terrorist attack on the Pentagon.
Other flags were dropped to half-staff and an air raid siren was set off at the exact times of the planes hitting the buildings. Patriotic songs, like “America the Beautiful,” were played as well.
“It changed our nation,” Fire Chief Rick Green told the Daily News. “As a firefighter, it changed how we do firefighting.”
Green said that because of 9/11, everyone had to learn and upgrade, and from that, “thousands of live have been saved because of what we learned, like thermal images and breathing apparatuses.”
The honors given that day, Green said, “Makes him feel proud. We lost a lot that day, but we also gained a lot.”
Assistant Chief Jim Blackburn, Green said, was the man behind the honors the fire department gave.
Blackburn, besides being an assistant chief, is also a foreman for Kinzer Drilling, the company who donated the flag. Blackburn estimated the flag’s cost at $2,000.
“This flag is flown daily at Kinzer,” Blackburn said. “And I asked to borrow it. J.W. Kinzer (the owner) said that we could keep it and fly it for other occasions as well.”
Like many people, Blackburn remembered exactly where he was during that tragic morning.
“I was going to school for Kinzer Drilling and we were taking a break,” Blackburn said. “We were watching the TV and saw a plane hit the tower. We thought it was a replay. It wasn’t.”
Green told the Daily News, “It’s hard to put into words what this means to me."