By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A memorial event in Philadelphia today honored the fallen of September 11th, 2001.
The ceremony started with an honor guard bagpipe procession from the Fireman’s Hall Museum, on North 2nd Street, to the Betsy Ross House around the corner, on Arch.
There, Betsy Ross House executive director Lisa Aker Moulder recalled that fateful day twelve years ago as she sat frozen, wondering whether Philadelphia was on the terrorists’ hit list.
“Was the Betsy Ross House safe?” she recalled thinking. “I feared for the safety of my husband, who was working at a high-rise in center city.”
Philadelphia fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers (at lectern in photo) spoke about the reflecting pools that are now part of New York CIty’s memorial at Ground Zero, “pools that have harvested the collective tears of our nation’s citizens’ sorrow and pain,” he said.
Commissioner Ayers then sounded a memorial bell in memory of all of the victims of September 11th, including first responders.
City managing director Rich Negrin, who lost two friends in the World Trade Center, was reminded of the expression, “Adversity builds character.”
“I think that’s wrong,” Negrin said today. “I think adversity reveals character.”
At the end of the ceremony, a second bell-ringing signified firefighters not returning to quarters.