Americans and Salvadorans stood together on the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, to remember tragedy of that day and the lives lost. Ambassador Jean Manes participated in a ceremony held by the Fire Department of El Salvador to honor the memory of firefighters who gave their lives doing rescue work after the attacks.
Fire Department Director, Major Joaquin Parada Jurado, said that the ceremony was a way to recognize the 343 firefighters who made the world see what every firefighter is willing to do: “to offer, with courage and sacrifice, their own life for others.”
Ambassador Manes told the assembled first responders, “You, more than any of us, understand the sacrifices made by your colleagues that day. You show the same courage every day.” She added, “During these 15 years, El Salvador has stood with us to honor the memory of the nearly 3,000 men, women and children who died in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania. The victims were not only from the United States, they came from different countries, including El Salvador.”
Ambassador Manes ended her remarks quoting President Obama commemorative statement, inviting us to “remain more united than ever and recognize that together, there is nothing we cannot overcome.”
The ceremony was also attended by Minister of Interior and Territorial Development Aristides Valencia and members of the Fire Department children’s brigade. Ambassador Manes asked one member of the children’s brigade asked why he wanted to be a firefighter, and he responded, “I want to help save lives.”
Later, in a private ceremony, Embassy personnel gathered outside the U.S. Embassy flagpole to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. After a few words from Ambassador Manes, the Marines lowered the flag to half-mast, while the assembled group observed a moment of silence.