At 9/11 remembrance in Old City, a hope for future generations

Representatives of Philadelphia's police, fire, and prisons departments line up on 2nd Street for the annual 9/11 remembrance procession. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Representatives of Philadelphia's police, fire, and prisons departments line up on 2nd Street for the annual 9/11 remembrance procession. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Representatives from Philadelphia’s police, fire and prisons departments gathered in Old City to mark the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and remember the first responders who lost their lives that day.

In a ritual that has not changed much since 2002, the honor guards of the departments lined up on 2nd Street outside the Fireman’s Hall Museum. The procession set off at exactly 9:59 a.m. — the moment that the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Philadelphia Police & Fire Pipes and Drums corps march down 2nd Street from the Fireman’s Hall Museum to the Betsy Ross House, where a 9/11 remembrance ceremony has been held each year since 2002. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

To the music of the Philadelphia Police and Fire Department Pipes and Drums, the marchers made their way to the courtyard of the Betsy Ross House, where city officials rang a memorial bell to remember the New York City firefighters, paramedics, police officers and civilian victims of the attacks.

Speakers stressed the importance of continuing to remember the horrific toll of the attacks and the sacrifice of those who came to the rescue.

Representatives of Philadelphia’s police, fire, and prisons departments gather in the courtyard of the Betsy Ross House for a 9/11 remembrance ceremony. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Interim Philadelphia Police Commissioner Christine Coulter, gesturing toward a class of preschoolers who attended the event, said it was particularly important to pass the memories to those who weren’t yet born at the time of the attacks.

“And I hope that future generations will never have to share memories of the day their country was attacked,” she said, her voice breaking.

Betsy Ross House Director Lisa Acker Moulder bows her head in prayer during a memorial ceremony for 9/11 victims. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Philadelphia’s top public safety officials (from left) Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel, Police Commissioner Christine Coulter, and Prisons Commissioner Blanche Carney attend a memorial ceremony for 9/11 victims at the Betsy Ross House in Old City. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel addresses a gathering at the Betsy Ross House to remember the victims of 9/11. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Interim Philadelphia Police Commissioner Christine Coulter addresses a gathering at the Betsy Ross House to remember the victims of 9/11. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Philadelphia Prisons Commissioner Blanche Carney stops to wipe away tears during her speech at the 9/11 memorial ceremony at the Betsy Ross House. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Sounding the Memorial Bell for the victims of the 9/11 attacks are (from left) Councilmember David Oh, Prisons Commissioner Blanche Carney, Police Commissioner Christine Coulter, Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel and Managing Director Brian Abernathy. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Members of the Philadelphia Police & Fire Pipes and Drums corps perform “Amazing Grace” during a 9/11 memorial ceremony at the Betsy Ross House in Old City. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Philadelphia firefighter Gary Hughs plays “Taps” at the conclusion of a ceremony to remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

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