PEPPER PIKE — The Northern Ohio Division of the Jewish National Fund honored Pepper Pike firefighters last week in a virtual ceremony to remember 9/11. People present at the ceremony took a moment of silence in memory of the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001 during an act of terrorism in New York City.
Israel Programs Admissions Director for the local chapter of JNF Liam Reis said that countless lives were lost during the attacks on the World Trade Center. He said that 343 members of the Fire Department of New York died during the attacks, in addition to 23 police officers, 37 port authority police officers, 15 emergency medical technicians and three court officers. About 2,000 first responders were also injured in the attacks, Mr. Reis said.
Northern Ohio President Barry Feldman, who resides in Pepper Pike, recently presented Fire Chief John Frazier with a plaque to honor the department. The plaque has an image of JNF’s 9/11 living memorial in Jerusalem, Israel. He said that it is the only monument outside of the United States that lists every person’s name who died on 9/11. The monument depicts the American flag waving and transforming into a flame. The base of the monument is a piece of melted metal from the remains of the twin towers.
“I’m grateful to the JNF and to Gross Schechter School for your honor and respect for the American fire service,” Chief Frazier said during the virtual ceremony on Sept. 10. “This event as well as the 9/11 memorial in Israel is a great tribute to all that made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11. Thank you for your support and we must never forget.”
A different fire department is recognized every year. Mr. Reis said that this year, JNF partnered with Gross Schechter Day School in Pepper Pike and chose to recognize the fire department that keeps those children safe.
Mindy Feigenbaum, director of Northern Ohio JNF, said that the Pepper Pike first responders work hard to protect the community every day. She said that JNF is thankful for their skills and long hours so they can respond quickly when someone in the community is in need.
“We admire your willingness to put yourselves in danger when necessary to rescue our neighbors in trouble,” Ms. Feigenbaum said. “Some of our families have been personally helped when you came to our houses because someone became ill suddenly, a fire started nearby or a rescue was necessary.”
She said that the school community depends on them for their safety and neighbors can sleep peacefully knowing that the first responders are nearby. She also showed a video of students and staff at Gross Schechter Day School thanking the first responders.