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W’bago honors those lost

By Staff | Sep 18, 2011

Winnebago Tribute

Winnebago firefighter Josh Blair wanted to do something to honor the 343 firefighters lost in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Together with firefighter Jesse Haugh, the two began brainstorming three weeks ago to pay tribute.

“Even though we are not from New York, we still feel a tie to 343 of our brothers who were killed that day,” Blair says. “The least we could do is take a few minutes out of our day to pay tribute.”

To honor fallen heroes, the Winnebago Fire Department wanted to do something small, yet poignant.

Firefighters divided up and rang bells at each of the area churches. The bells were rung at 8:46 and 9:03 a.m. commemorating the times planes flew into the World Trade Center Towers.

After the bells were rung, Winnebago enlisted all of their trucks except one for a tribute parade starting at Parker Oaks and finishing in Whiting Park.

“It was great to have community support,” Blair says. “It had a parade look, but not the feel of a parade.”

Members of the Winnebago community lined the streets to pay their respects in a somber tribute.

“It was good to see families while going down the road,” Blair says. “There wasn’t much waving or smiling, but the message was loud and clear that we haven’t forgotten what happened 10 years ago.”

To see more of this article, see this week’s Register