London firefighters hold 9/11 memorial service, honour fallen colleagues

Deputy fire chief Richard Hayes addresses the crowd at the London Fire Department's Sept. 11 memorial service. Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

A sombre day was kept in memory by the London Fire Department on Wednesday morning.

An annual memorial service for the Sept. 11 terror attacks was held outside the department’s memorial headquarters on Horton Street.

Londoners and first responders gathered for a moment of silence to honour the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives during the attack on the World Trade Center.

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The service was also marked by the addition of four names to the Memorial Monument on Horton Street.

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One of those names belongs to Capt. Larry Doolittle, a firefighter of 32 years who died in 2018 following a battle with cancer.

Catherine Doolittle, the captain’s wife of 55 years, described him as a wonderful husband.

“He wanted to be a firefighter right from the beginning,” Doolittle said.

“He thoroughly enjoyed the excitement, the rush and the comradeship with the fellas.”

The three other names added to the monument were: Capt. Ronald Stokley, Director of Training Brian Carter and Deputy Chief Peter Harding.

President of the London Professional Firefighters Association Jason Timlick said the dedication displayed by the names on the monument, as well as the firefighters who served during 9/11, is a constant source of inspiration and admiration.

The tragedy has left an emotional impact on first responders and citizens alike, Timlick said.

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“I was a junior firefighter working that day and watched the second plane hit the tower live … It’s something you’ll never forget.”

In New York, the day was remembered with a gathering where the Twin Towers once stood.

A crowd of victims’ relatives assembled at Ground Zero, where the observance began with a moment of silence and tolling bells at 8:46 a.m. – the moment when a hijacked plane slammed into the World Trade Center’s north tower.

 – With files from The Associated Press

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