Sep 11 2011
This year being the tenth anniversary of the terrible 9/11 terrorist atrocities in the United States of America, Bolton MBC organised and hosted a very special service today to commemorate the events of the day and to honour those in the emergency services who died in the Twin Towers Tragedy and those killed as a result of the horrendous events of September 11th 2001.
The Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Noel Spencer MBE stated prior to today’s service;
“The events that took place on 9/11 changed the world. As I host the service to mark the 10th Anniversary of this tragedy my thoughts and prayers will be with all those who perished and the families and friends they left behind. The great courage and sacrifice shown by the emergency services on that day must never be forgotten. Indeed all the emergency services, including our own here in the borough, should be appreciated for their unending courage in the service of others. Bolton is a very close community and many groups make up the structure of our town. I hope everyone will come along on Sunday the 11th September to join us at 1.30pm for this special service.”
Today coincided with the day that UK Fire Services set aside to remember their own fire fighters who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the service of others, and this added to the poignancy of the days events.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service opened up all its Fire Stations across the county today to the public with special services held at some. (Please see the website of GMFRS for more information by following the website link on our ’Links’ page)
Within the Borough of Bolton, GMFRS from 11.00hrs until 14.00hrs held an open doors to the public event, at Horwich, Farnworth and Bolton North (Crompton Way) Fire Stations, that at Bolton Central Fire Station being 11.00hrs until 13.00hrs, with the staff and Fire Appliances of the on duty watch today; ’Blue Watch,’ being on hand to explain the work of GMFRS to interested visitors.
The Bolton MRT placed each of our four Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances on display at these four Fire Stations, with representative team members present alongside each vehicle.
Greater Manchester Police also attended with a vehicle, Police and PCSO Officers present at Horwich and Farnworth Fire Stations.
The main focus of the day was in Bolton itself, commencing at Bolton Central Fire Station.
During the morning a commemorative 9/11 Lantern held by GMFRS, was firstly blessed at Bolton Parish Church, to then commence a very special journey with GMFRS to Farnworth, Bolton North, and Horwich Fire Stations and then back to Bolton Central Fire Station.
At Bolton Central Fire Station, alongside the based GMFRS Fire Appliances were representatives and vehicles from NWAS, NWAS HART (Hazardous Area Response Team) GMP and Bolton MRT.
At 13.10hrs, all present at Bolton Central Fire Station formed up into a procession to walk the short distance to Victoria Square, Bolton, followed by GMFRS Fire Appliances, an NWAS Ambulance, our ’BM2’ Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance and a GMP Traffic Car, all under escort from GMP and bicycle PCSO Officers.
Heading the procession was GMFRS Bolton Borough Manager Ian Bailey and GMP Bolton Commander Chief Superintendent Dave Hull.
Upon entering Victoria Square, Bolton, fronting the Town Hall, all were met by a large public audience gathered for the service, and a Guard of Honour from the British Legion, Air Cadets, Sea Cadets and Army Cadets.
At 13.30hrs the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Noel Spencer MBE, Civic dignitaries and invited guests emerged from Bolton Town Hall onto the Town Hall steps, where GMFRS Bolton Borough Manager Ian Bailey, GMP Bolton Commander Chief Superintendent Dave Hull and our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE stood with their wreathes.
At 13.35hrs the service started, conducted by the Vicar of Bolton, followed by an address from the Mayor of Bolton.
At 13.46hrs, the time the first plane struck the Twin Towers, a Fire Bell brought from Bolton Central Fire Station was rung on the steps of Bolton Town Hall marking the start of a two minute silence, ended by a second ringing of the Fire Bell.
A two minutes silence was also observed at GMFRS Horwich, Farnworth and Bolton North Fire Stations, with the duty Firefighters, our representatives and present GMP Officers stood to attention outside the Fire Stations.
The Mayor of Bolton then proceeded to the Cenotaph to place the commemorative Lantern, followed by wreath laying by firstly the Leader of Bolton Council, then GMFRS Bolton Borough Manager Ian Bailey in the company of Emma Hughes (Her father, Graham Hughes was a GMFRS Firefighter who lost his life on duty), then GMP Chief Superintendent Dave Hull and finally our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE.
Our wreath carried the message; “In the memory of the atrocities of 9/11 and all in the Emergency Services who have given their lives in the service of their communities.”
Following the wreath laying at the Bolton Victoria Square Cenotaph, prayers and a blessing were delivered followed by the National Anthem, at which this very special ceremony and service came to its conclusion.
During the Service, emergency vehicles from GMFRS, NWAS, GMP and Bolton MRT were all present on Victoria Square itself.
The whole service was televised by the BBC North West and ITV Granada News, and featured on the early and late evening news broadcasts.
The local press and radio stations also covered the event.
In total today at all four locations we had thirteen team members present;
- GMFRS Bolton North Fire Station; Trainee Team members Tony Dawson and Naomi Horan with Full Team Call Out list member Ana Toole and our ’BM1’ vehicle.
- GMFRS Horwich Fire Station; Trainee Team members John Dickinson and Paul Copley, with our ’BM3’ vehicle.
- GMFRS Farnworth Fire Station; Full team Call Out list members Chris Tennant and Steve O’Hara, with our ’BM4’ vehicle.
- GMFRS Bolton Central Fire Station and onto the service in Victoria Square; Team Life Vice President Alan James, Team Chairman Craig Lamb, Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, Team Training Officer Elaine Gilliland, and Full team Call Out list members Martin Banks and Diane Blakeley.
(In addition team member Gill Leigh had earlier turned up at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ to kindly help prepare our four vehicles for this special day)
All our members attending today to represent the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team would like to express how honoured they felt to be taking part in this very special service alongside our colleagues in the full time emergency services, Civic dignitaries and other guests.
Our members present would also like to express their thanks to GMFRS Blue Watch at GMFRS Horwich, Farnwoth, Bolton North and Bolton Central Fire Stations for their hospitality shown to them today.
Thanks are also expressed to the valuable ’behind the scenes’ input of Bolton MBC Sally Hayes for her organisation and co-ordination of the Victoria Square service.
Finally the Bolton MRT would like to thank poppy’s flower design of Hough Lane, leyland who via team member Diane Blakeley kindly supported the cost of our memorial wreath.