Special to the Village News
On Sept. 11, 2001, two commercial airplanes were hijacked by terrorists who crashed the planes into the Twin Towers in New York City. Across the country a firefighter named Jerry Bedoya, who now lives in Fallbrook, along with others from the Los Angeles City Fire Department made the personal decision to assist the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY)’s Search and Rescue team.
In an interview, Bedoya explained, “We went because it was an event of a lifetime, and it was our way of putting a stamp on our public service.”
During Bedoya and his crew’s six-day stay they relieved the FDNY by working 12-hour shifts, digging through debris looking for bodies or firefighter memorabilia.
“Being at the Twin Towers, where so many people had perished, was an extremely sobering experience,” said Bedoya.
Bedoya said the New York firefighters as well as New Yorkers embraced him and his crew with open arms when they realized that they had volunteered and were there to help.
When Bedoya and his fellow firefighters walked through the streets of New York people stopped to give them pictures of their loved ones who had been in the towers and asked them to please look for them. They took the pictures and promised them that they would, knowing that it was a futile gesture but also realizing it was a source of comfort for those searching for their family members.
As a retired L.A. City Fire captain with 35 years of service, Bedoya considers this event to be the most impactful of career.
California State Senator Joel Anderson provided Bedoya with a Senate Certificate of Recognition for his outstanding service to our country and shared how essential it is to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11 because of the event’s significance in American history.
“People like Jerry who served in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks should be honored and recognized for their commitment and bravery during a crucial time in our country,” said Anderson.
Anderson’s eighth annual 9/11 memorial ceremony was held at Grossmont Community College’s Quad on Monday, Sept. 11.