September 11th

September 11, 2001, marked the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil.  Hijackers crashed passenger planes into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center towers in New York, toppling the 110-story twin towers, killing all aboard the jets and many more people on the ground.  Another plane was taken down by the heroic actions of its passengers before it could reach its target destination.  All aboard that plane died when it crashed in a field in Pensylvania.

September 11th is now known as Patriot Day and a national day of service.  Why?  From that moment on Americans drew upon their faith and patriotism to make it through that horrible tragedy.  Acts of service transpired everywhere as our nation healed. 

On September 11, 2010, the Madison Fire Department unveiled its Firefighter Memorial.  The Memorial is symbolic:
  • Two pieces of steel reach skyward as a symbol of the Twin Towers before they fell.  At night these beams are lighted to remind us of the undimmed spirit of patriotism. 
  • In front of the steal stands a pillar.  At the top of the pillar is the Madison Fire Department's logo.  It is also lighted at night to symbolize that, day or night, we stand ready to serve.
  • Just below the logo sits a bell.  The tolling of the bell is symbolic for multiple reasons. 
    • During our annual September 11th memorial, the bell is rung four times.  Each tolling of the bell represents one our department's core values: Integrity, Honor, Pride, and Courage. 
    • At its base a sign reads, "The Bell Rang So We Came: As a community that comes together with a willingness to serve, let September 11, 2001 stand as a reminder to answer the ringing bell."  As a department we always stand ready to serve the community. 
    • We hope that the tolling of the bell also reminds our community to answer the call of service whenever it comes.


On September 11, 2011, the Madison Fire Department made an addition to the memorial.  An original piece of steel that was recovered from the rubble of the Twin Towers was unveiled.
  • The "Original Steel" was laid down on top of the Bell and Logo base.  This position symbolizes the fallen state of the Twin Towers.  However, the steel is also partially supported.  This is symbolic of the efforts immediately after the collapse, and since, of those who gave service to their fellow man.  It is a reminder that, even in tragedy, we are supported by those who are willing to answer the "Ringing Bell."