Breckenridge first responders remember 9-11 |

Breckenridge first responders remember 9-11

Officers bore a flag, which would be raised at half-mast at Blue River Plaza, in memory of 9/11.
Elise Reuter / |

“We will never forget. That’s the reason we gather here today,” Red, White & Blue fire chief James Keating opened on Friday morning.

A stream of uniformed policemen and firefighters marched down Breckenridge’s Main Street, glinting in the morning sun, to hoist a flag at half-mast in memory of September 11, 2001.

Red, White & Blue battalion chief Ryan Roberts rung a silver fire bell 14 times, once for each year that passed since the day when two planes hit the World Trade Center, sending shockwaves across the country.

Keating still remembers the day clearly. Working in northeastern Kansas at the time, he was driving down to Wichita when he noticed several flights being directed into the airport. Turning on the radio, he then realized why.

“It turned out to be a strange, freaky day,” Keating said.

After a long moment of silence, he exhorted listeners to set aside time to think of military and first responders throughout the day.

“Those sacrifices that those folks put their lives on the line every day, we need to go back every day, but specifically today to thank and honor those folks on 9/11.”

Breckenridge assistant police chief Dennis McLaughlin said he remembered 14 years ago, when he worked for a police department in northern Texas. Shortly after the crash was announced, all of the officers put on their uniforms to go and protect the local schools.

“I think back on the many shoulders that all of us stand on today,” McLaughlin said. “Every time that our freedom has been attacked, the American people have stood up and responded. All of us together.”

While he reflected somberly on the events of that day, McLaughlin also celebrated the resilience and strength of the community coming together.

“Maybe we can work as closely together today as we did back then,” McLaughlin added. “That day, the beauty of that, is how close we came together, and we celebrate that every day in Breckenridge.”

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