Honoring the brave Black firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11

On September 11, 2001, approximately 3,000 people lost their lives in terrorist attacks that took place 22 years ago. Four commercial airplanes were hijacked, resulting in two crashing into the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York City and a third hitting the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Nearly 10,000 people were injured, but thankfully, many survived with the help of the brave firefighters who responded to the attacks. Among the 343 firefighters who tragically lost their lives, twelve were members of the Black Vulcan Society, an organization formed in 1940 to address discrimination within the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).

According to New York Amsterdam News, the deceased Black Vulcan Society firefighters include Gerard Baptiste, Vernon Cherry, Tarel Coleman, Andre Fletcher, Keith Glascoe, Ronnie Henderson, William Henry, Karl Joseph, Keithroy Maynard, Vernon Richard, Shawn Powell, and Leon Smith Jr.

The majority of the firefighters, according to Capt. Paul Washington, a former president of the Vulcan Society, were inside or just outside the Twin Towers when they collapsed.

“It’s up to us to keep the memory alive. They made the ultimate sacrifice,” Washington said.

Let’s not overlook what occurred just 14 years ago today. Let’s not forget the suffering that many New Yorkers went through at the time and continue to go through. Not the workers, the first responders, or anyone else, let’s not forget those who died. Let’s not forget to remind everyone that on that day, our people also gave their lives and made sacrifices.

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