Commission: No action on sergeant’s complaint

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 17, 2001

Vicksburg residents, from right, Oren Reeves, Ila Mae Reeves, Brenda Remore and Angela Stewart bow their heads in prayer Friday at Riverfront Park.(The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[9/15/2001]Vicksburg firefighters with mourning bands across their badges joined local residents Friday to offer prayers for the victims of this week’s attacks in New York and Washington D.C.

About 20 firefighters joined about 150 residents at the RiverFront Park as part of the national day of pray called by President Bush. Fire Chief Kevin Westbrook said the firefighters were there to remember their fallen comrades in New York who lost their lives when the 110-story twin towers crumbled.

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He said firefighters would continue to wear the mourning bands until all of those lost in the attack were recovered.

“That’s when we’ll consider taking them off,” Westbrook said.

Others offered prayers for the nation and leaders during the crisis.

“Our hearts are indeed saddened, but we come to you with confidence,” said Willie Needle. “Father, help us to appreciate what we have and not to take it lightly.”

The group ended the hour of pray holding hands while singing “God Bless America.” South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman also led a moment of silence and asked people to reflect on the view of the river, hills, and the flag on top of the U.S. 80 Mississippi River bridge.

“These can never be taken away and we will never let them go,” Beauman said.

Beauman also recognized the firefighters and called them heroes.

Deputy Fire Chief Rose Schaifer said that the deaths of so many firefighters in New York has brought much emotional response from local firefighters.

“They’re angry, they’re sad and they want to do something,” Schaifer said.

She said that the city will be offering stress management classes for city firefighters. She said that despite the mixed emotions of the firefighters, they are proud of their brothers-in-arms in New York and Washington.

“If it happened here we would do the same thing,” Schaifer said. “That’s what we’re here for.”

Elsewhere, Vicksburg police gave out about 600 American flags at the police department and at WalMart SuperCenter. Many officers also affixed flags to patrol cars.

“A lot of people are looking for them and all the stores are out,” said officer Jamee Carter.