September marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and two decades later, the memories remain strong for those that worked in public safety during that time.
Rochester Fire Chief, Mark Klose, remembers every detail “as if it happened yesterday” and recalls the pain of losing so many on that day.
“My wife and I were still new parents at the time. I remember I had the day off when I received a call instructing me to turn on the tv,” said Klose. “Our department in Derry, NH didn’t end up going to NYC but I did however attend many, many funerals.”
In November 2001, Klose took a trip to ground zero. He remembers walking the streets and seeing the dust still covering everything, including the untouched place settings on nearby restaurants. “The fire apparatus that was still on the scene had been totally crushed by the falling buildings. It was a very overwhelming experience,” said Klose.
When asked about how 9/11 shaped him as a first responder, Klose said to always expect the unexpected.
“Some things are out of your control. Always be safe and never, ever forget,” said Klose.
To mark the anniversary, the Fire Department will continue its tradition of displaying the American flag on a ladder truck outside the Wakefield Street station. According to Chief Klose, there will be red, white, and blue carnations for anyone that would like to take one, while supplies last.