Abbotsford emergency responders and border guards crossed the border into Washington on Tuesday in a gesture of solidarity and to participate in a ceremony marking the anniversary of 9/11.
Members of the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service, Abbotsford Police Department, British Columbia Ambulance Service, Royal Canadian Legion members and Canadian Border Services members joined U.S. colleagues at the Sumas Border Memorial to pay homage to those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Centre in New York, the Pentagon and Flight 93 in Shanksville, Penn., 11 years ago.
Abbotsford deputy fire Chief Mike Helmer who helped organize the event acted as the master of ceremonies.
"We want to remember the fallen emergency responders and the others impacted by 9/11, to take the time to remember those who fell in the attacks and those who died or are continuing to fight terrorism throughout the world," said Helmer.
AFRS Chief Don Beer attended the ceremony, as did Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich.
Beer and Sumas Police Chief Chris Haugen teamed up to place a wreath at the base of the memorial statue, a six-foot granite shaped like the twin towers and inscribed with the words "United We Stand."
The gesture and the ceremony itself symbolizes not only the strong ties between Canada and the United States, but the links between the communities of Sumas and Abbotsford that straddle the border, said Helmer.
The memorial statue was spearheaded by Canadian military and emergency responders, particularly Mission and Abbotsford firefighters, who wanted to dedicate a monument on the U.S. side of the border for those who died on Sept. 11, 2001.