Retired police officer recalls 9/11 during Charleston, WV - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Retired NY police officer recalls 9/11 attacks during Charleston, WV ceremony

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Frank Kennedy, retired NY police officer, shares his memories of 9/11 with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin Frank Kennedy, retired NY police officer, shares his memories of 9/11 with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin laid a wreath at the Fallen Firefighters' Memorial outside the Culture Center on the WV State Capitol ground Wednesday morning.

Tomblin said he was on his way to the office 12 years ago, as the legislature was in a special session.

He said everyone was stunned as they watched the attacks unfold on TV.

"It was a wake up call that people realized that all of a sudden we weren't immune from attacks on our own soil. It changed America," he said.

Tomblin was joined by a small group of men at the ceremony, including one who responded to the terror attacks. Frank Kennedy was working with the East Hampton Police Department 12 years ago.

"A call came out form NYPD that any law enforcement officers from New York or New Jersey were asked to respond if they could," he said.

They headed straight for New York City.

"I responded with nine other officers and a lieutenant, and we assisted in perimeter security for 36 hours straight at the trade center site," he said.

Kennedy says the images are still fresh in his mind. 

Kennedy now works with the Department of Homeland Security in Charleston.  He said the wreath laying ceremony means a lot to him and other first responders who lost friends and loved ones in the attacks.

"I lost six friends that were NYPD officers and five friends who were FDNY officers, people I grew up with and knew my whole life," he said.

Bill Kershner also attended the ceremony and works with Kennedy at the DHS in Charleston.  He said the attacks changed the way law enforcement and first responders train and work.

"It's our job to remain vigilante and try to make sure this never happens again. That's what we do every day," he said.

The Fallen Firefighter Memorial was built in 1994, and is dedicated to West Virginia firefighters who've died in the line of duty.