Breckenridge’s first responders reflect on national tragedy of 9/11 |

Breckenridge’s first responders reflect on national tragedy of 9/11

From left, firefighter Joan Ferris, Sgt. Garrison Green, battalion chief Ryan Roberts and Sgt. Patrick Finley carry the U.S. flag before raising it to half staff Tuesday in Breckenridge during a ceremony honoring the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Ferris and Roberts both work for the Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District while Green and Finley are with the Breckenridge Police Department.
Eli Pace /

More than 20 officers with Breckenridge Police Department and Red, White & Blue Fire Protection District donned formal dress uniforms for a short ceremony Tuesday in Breckenridge honoring the 2,977 victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The ceremony lasted for about 15 minutes with Breckenridge Police Chief Jim Baird offering a few remarks to the small crowd before local first-responders raised a flag to half-staff inside the Blue River Plaza downtown, immediately followed by a moment of silence.

After the ceremony, Baird reflected on how one day 17 years ago, when 19 hijackers turned commercial airplanes into weapons of mass destruction, the country as a whole and the world as we know it changed.

“9/11 changed the way both these professions have to operate,” Baird said of the police officers and firefighters who gathered on Tuesday to pay their respect.

“It used to be that we looked at things on a lot smaller scale, but we saw through a lot of the activity that’s occurred over the last several decades in the United States that we have to change the way we’re doing business,” he said.

There are more threats now than ever, the chief continued, and in addition to the 412 emergency workers who died on Sept. 11, 2001, he doesn’t want anyone to lose sight of those who’ve perished since then.

“I think it’s important to remember those who made that sacrifice, those who were on the front lines that day,” he said before adding it’s just as important to think of the first responders who’ve died since the attacks from things like exposure-related illnesses and suicide. “It’s also important for those who are still doing the job to know that people are thinking of those who made that sacrifice.”

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