Vicksburg, Warren County first responders honor firefighters lost in 9/11 with parade

Published 3:37 pm Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Vicksburg and Warren County’s first responders and equipment took over Washington Street on Saturday for a commemorative walk and parade through downtown honoring the firefighters who died Sept. 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center.

“The walk is just a small part of giving back to those 343 firefighters who lost their lives that day,” said Vicksburg-Warren 911 Director and Northeast Volunteer Fire Department Chief Shane Garrard.

Garrard said the event was held because there is no facility in the county to do a stair climb to honor the lost New York firefighters.

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“Nationally, that’s what firefighters will do; they do a stair climb,” he said. “I think it’s something like 1,016 steps to simulate the height of the World Trade Center.”

In 2020, Garrard said, firefighters walked 3.5 miles in the Vicksburg National Military Park to honor the firefighters.

“This year and (in) years following, we want to do the parade route downtown,” he said. “We want the public to come out and be able to celebrate with us the lives of those guys. That’s the reason we went downtown. We want the families to bring out the kids and the grandkids and pay tribute on that significant day.”

Garrard said he anticipated more groups for the inaugural parade, but Hurricane Ida forced some of the departments and organizations invited to attend to change their plans because they were deployed to South Louisiana.

“One of those (groups) that would have been here was the Mississippi State Fire Academy, but they’ve got about 14 to 21 instructors down in South Louisiana,” he said.

Still, Garrard said, the parade received a good response from area departments.

“The Yazoo Fire Department, Yazoo County Fire Department the Vicksburg Fire Department and all six of the county volunteer departments were represented and we had a couple of Hinds County firefighters,” he said.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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