CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Twelve years ago Wednesday Frank Kennedy, the state’s training officer for the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, was in New York City in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He was working at the time for the East Hampton New York Police Department.
“NYPD sent out a request for any available law enforcement personnel throughout the state of New York and New Jersey to respond if they could,” explained Kennedy. “We sent myself and nine other men and a lieutenant and we worked for 36 hours basically securing the perimeter of the Trade Center.”
Those are hours he’ll never forget and he remembered that day at a wreath laying ceremony at the foot of the West Virginia Fallen Firefighter Memorial at the state Culture Center Wednesday morning.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin laid a wreath with white roses and a white ribbon in tribute to the men and women who lost their lives in New York, Washington D.C. and a field in Shanksville, PA.
Kennedy said it brings back the memories of what happened in the aftermath of his duty in NYC.
“Once I got home and started reading names, I realized I’d lost quite a few friends and acquaintances that worked for both NYPD and FDNY,” according to the retired officer. “There were people running in when other people were running out. Those were the first responders.”
Kennedy said he was in the thick of it that September day in 2001. But in reality, so was the rest of the nation.
“It didn’t just effect New York and Washington and Pennsylvania. It affected the entire United States. I believe people shouldn’t forget,” he stressed.
That’s one reason why he went back to work for Homeland Security after he retired from the East Hampton Police Department in 2010. He said every state needs to be prepared in case of another national emergency.