‘I feel emotional every time’: Name reading ceremony at Fire Station 1 honors 9/11 victims

MADISON, Wis. — Madison is one of 60 communities across the country joining forces to honor nearly three thousand people who lost their lives on September 11th.

As a part of the nation’s largest 9/11 remembrance project, Flags of Honor Across America, each community pledged to commemorate 50 people by sharing their names, faces and stories.

Local firefighters at Fire Station 1 were joined by area youth, together making sure, 20 years after one of the worst days in America history, we never forget.

“We do need to stop and reflect,” said Assistant Fire Chief Tracy Burrus. “We need to stop and take a moment and remember and reflect on lives lost and the events of that day.”

Burrus has been a firefighter for more than 26 years but she said Saturday’s experience was a first.

“Seeing the pictures of the person and really taking a moment to look at the picture and hear their name, it allowed me to focus more on it and on the individuals who lost their lives that day,” she explained.

A connection still felt by a generation of young people who weren’t alive to witness the horror of that day.

14-year-old Ana McCallum-Moore was one of several children from Briarpatch Youth Service’s Restorative Justice Program who joined firefighters at the podium.

“I was feeling sad but I was also feeling connected to everybody who died that day,” McCallum-Moore said. “We were honoring them and recognizing them and they were just ordinary people like us.”

Ordinary people who will be forever missed by so many.

“I can’t believe it’s been 20 years already but I don’t think it sort of stings any less,” Burrus said. “I feel emotional every time.”

After all 50 names were read, Madison firefighters raised a flag at the station with the names of 2,983 victims at half staff.

A similar flag was also flown in Oshkosh Saturday.