Windham Remembers Those Lost on 9/11

September 19, 2014

by Len Lathrop

Thirteen years later, Windham Fire Department hosted a 9/11 Memorial Service that also included the Windham Police Department.  Standing in front of the memorial ladder truck with a tribute painted on its side were both fire and police personnel.  After the national anthem by Cheyann Devlin, prayers for both police officers and firefighters were read by senior officers.  Remarks from Fire Chief Tom McPherson reflected on the tragic events of that day 13 years ago and how it has shaped our country.  Lt. James Brown rang the final bell in memorial as Lt. William Brown lowered the flag to half staff.  Bagpiper Chris Spitalere provided a memorial hymn during the salutes.  Firefighter Pat Robinson offered a poem in closing, “The 343.”  Chief McPherson dismissed the squads and invited everyone for refreshments inside the station.


The 343


Ask any firefighter, and he will say

And the Brothers all agree;

We know that day, and it won’t go away,

When we lost our 343.


Where were you when the Towers came down,

The cry will be heard through the years;

Where were you when the Twin Towers fell,

And we realized our worst fears.


The old man asked of the young boy he met,

The lad looked up and answered politely,

“My daddy’s a fireman, and he died that day,

But I still say a prayer for him nightly.”


The old man moved on, and he found a young girl,

And he asked the same question of her,

She answered so slow, “I don’t think I know,

For you see, I wasn’t born yet sir.”


But ask any firefighter, and he will know,

The day, the time, and the year;

For those of us who fight smoke and fire

And have no time for fear.

We know that day, and it won’t go away,

When we lost our 343.


So when you see a fire truck speeding by,

Manned by the men who fight the fight,

Or you hear a wailing siren, in the middle of the night,

It seems so far away, on some lonely thoroughfare,

Pause for just a moment, and think a silent prayer …


William Mackle, FDNY Retired