Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Oct. 1, 2001

Firefighters in mourning, flags still flown at half-staff

By Patrice Waldron

There are more American flags being flown right now, as a symbol of support and unity, than are usually seen on the 4th of July.

While most flags had been flying at half-staff since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on our nation, a directive was issued to end the period of mourning, with all flags flying at the top of the flag pole, as of Sept. 22.

Some in Winsted have wondered why the flag at the Winsted fire station is still flying at half-staff.

In a press release dated Sept. 24, 2001, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) requested all of America's fire and emergency service agencies continue to fly flags at half-staff and shroud their badges until Thursday, Oct. 11.

This will mark a formal 30-day period of mourning for the fire and rescue workers lost in the terrorist attack.

The IAFC acknowledges that all the personnel who responded to the events at the World Trade Center may never be fully accounted for. This mourning period will provide a time frame for formal observance.

"Although President Bush's 'national period of mourning' may have ended, it is certainly not over for those of us in the fire service. It's important that the fire an emergency service join together as a whole to continue to show our support and respect for our fallen comrades," said Chief John Buckman, president of the IAFC.

"It will be important to mark this sad period in our history with some closure for all of us as well," Buckman said.

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