'They still went’: Pikeville first responders remember fallen heroes of 9/11

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 6:53 PM EDT
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Nineteen years after the September 11 attacks, Pikeville remembers the fallen heroes while celebrating the men and women who risk their lives each day.

A ceremony kicked off First Responder Remembrance Day with several speakers on the schedule at the Pikeville Police Department. After the ceremony, a parade made its way through Hambley Boulevard.

Several families lined the roadway to see the event, waving American flags in remembrance of the first responders and fellow Americans killed in the attacks of 2001.

Police Chief Chris Edmonds said it is important to keep the memory of 9/11 alive and honor the fallen heroes, even in the midst of a pandemic.

“We decided to do it on September 11 to honor every first responder for that day, that tragic day in America," he said. "So, we usually had a big thing in the park. But we can’t gather and do anything like that right now, so we decided to do just the smallest thing we could right now to honor the first responders and honor the first responders for 9/11.”

He said it is all about remembering the heroes who died to protect and serve.

“We can never forget,” Edmonds said. “Their motivation is to do that. Those firemen knew that tower was on fire in that stairwell, going up. You know, they knew it was burning above them. So they still went.”

Pike County Sheriff Rodney Scott said that sense of duty to others is what pushes the area first responders every day.

“You know, 19 years ago today I could tell you exactly where I’m at. It was just like it happened yesterday. And, you know, people that can remember never forget," Scott said. “You never know what situation you’re gonna walk into or whether you’re gonna walk out. So, you know, when you kiss your loved one goodbye of the morning, you just hope you’re gonna be there that afternoon to kiss them hello.”

He said the community has always been supportive of its law enforcement and he is blessed to serve a county that appreciates the sacrifices that come with the calling.

“It’s a tremendous honor, you know, that the people respect us enough to come out and show us how much they do respect us," he said.

Chief Edmonds agreed, saying the community is the most supportive of its first responders. He said he hopes everyone will keep that same consideration to the families of those who died 19 years ago.

“Today is a day that I would like for every citizen to always remember. And remember the sacrifices that was gave that day. And remember the people we lost that day," Edmonds said.

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