Today feels like an empty day. Our fire department, as most in Massachusetts, held a memorial service at our station, as encouraged by The Fire Chiefs' Association, the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts and the Department of Fire Services, to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11 and the losses in NYC, Washington and field in Pennsylvania. At 9:45 we rolled our trucks onto the tarmac.
10:00, we gathered with guests in front of our apparatus for in silence.
10:05, Sounded our siren for a minute, lowered station flag to half mast followed by a minute of silence.
10:10, Prayers from two town clergy:

Oh God, we remember before you this day our brothers and sisters lost on September 11, 2001. We thank you for their example of courage and sacrifice. In your boundless compassion, console their families, friends, co-workers and all who ,ourn their loss. Give us faith to see in death the gate of eternal life, so that in quiet confidence we may continue our journey and serve with honor, dignity and courage. Amen.

Fire Fighters Prayer:

When I am called to duty, wherever flames my rage,
give me the strength to save a life, whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child before it is too late,
or save an older person from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout,
and quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me,
to guard my every neighbor and protect his property.
And ifr according to God's will, I must answer death's call,
bless with your protecting hand, my family, one and all.

"Amazing Grace" is played.
E2, our departments newest truck, sounds its siren 4 times in sets of 5 blasts, calling the lost home and sending them to their reward.
Flag is raised to full mast.
Lee Greenwoods "God Bless the U.S.A" is played.
Station 12, Hardwick, Massachusetts, is back in service. Today feels like an empty day, and I need a cookie. Thanks to all of you who showed up for the ceremony or sent notes of sympathy and concern.