Tri-City residents gathered outside the Southridge Sports Events Complex in Kennwick at 10:30 Tuesday morning. It was a blustery day, fitting for the seventeenth anniversary of 911. Soldiers, firefighters, police, the town Chaplin along with Mayor Don Britain arrived in full uniform. Fire Chief Vince Beasley said, “It’s a day of remembrance to honor those who have given so much; they are our cousins. Personally it’s a somber day, a day to come out in the community and engage a little more.”
Chief Beasley added that he was working that fateful day and had just come back from an early morning call. He watched the live footage and could see in the background the second plane; the first one he thought was an accident, the second one he knew what was going on…it was terrorism.
His station house sent troops down there to assist and from those relationships, he said, they were fortunate enough to be able to make the connection and asked if they could salvage some of the steel girder from the Twin Towers and bring it back to Kennewick.
For Fire Chief Beasley, it’s all about community and recently with the big Bofer Canyon fire, one of the things he took away from that crisis was seeing neighbors helping neighbors, “that’s what happened with 911, neighbors coming together instead of divided, and I would encourage people not just on a special day…be neighborly every day of the year.”