It has been 12 years since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and the crash of United Airlines Flight 93, and the members of the Hartsville Fire Company continue to keep the memory of the victims alive with its annual ceremony at the fire station located on York Road.
The renovation of Hartsville's 9/11 memorial completed in time for Wednesday's service. Hot and cold temperatures caused the glossy material that encased the two concrete blocks to crack. The replica towers have now been coated with a more weather-resistant material called drivit. Hartsville recognized Lorenzo and Kathy Cuoci for donating the repairs to the memorial.
After brief opening remarks, the gathered guests were asked to pick up the 405 flags that had been placed on the fire company's lawn earlier Wednesday morning and place them on a table beside the podium.
Warminster, UK, Mayor Paul Batchelor thanked the hosts for inviting him and his two daughters to the ceremony and allowing them to participate in the reading of the names of the fallen first responders.
The rest of the audience was also encouraged to take the podium and help read the names of all the emergency personnel that perished when the World Trade Center fell, including 343 members of the Fire Department City of New York, 23 New York Police Department officers and 37 New York & New Jersey Port Authority officers.
The names of two local firefighters, John Kulick and Tristan Smith, were saved for the end of the readings. Musician Bill Monaghan and his group then led a rousing rendition of "America, the Beautiful" followed by a keynote speech from Philadelphia firefighter Harry Magee, who also curates the Philadelphia Fire Department's museum.