Fire Chief Tom Pour made a big promise at the fifth annual Moment of Remembrance Ceremony at his firehouse on South Illinois Street.
“I’m going to give you my word, as fire chief and owner of this house, next year we’ll be outside,” Pour said to applause from the 100-some in attendance.
The Fire Administration Building has been the site of the ceremony for five years, since the city acquired a twisted steel column from the fallen towers. The column sits on a trailer in a bay next to fire trucks, except every Sept. 11 when the trucks are parked out front so the ceremony can be held inside. The column will soon become part of an outdoor memorial.
Mayor Mark Eckert earlier told those gathered that “it won’t be long before this is outside where it is meant to be,” citing the work of the September 11 Memorial Walkway of Southern Illinois Committee.
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About 100 people were at the annual remembrance, including the Belleville West Trumpet Ensemble, which played “God Bless America” and “Taps,” and bagpiper Mike Edwards closing the ceremony with “Amazing Grace.”
Sharon Strausbaugh of the committee opened the ceremony with remarks about those “who were murdered on this day in 2001.”