Remembrance service honors first responders in Lancaster County who died in the line of duty

EAST HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- A remembrance service honored 51 first responders killed over the years in the line of duty in Lancaster County.

First responders rang a bell, cadets placed 51 flowers, and officials set a remembrance wreath at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center.

For many, the sound of the bell is painful.

"It's difficult to explain; it's like losing a family member," said Bruce Trego, the Pennsylvania Fire Commissioner.

For Trego, it surfaces memories.

"In that one instance when the bell rings, you remember all the good times, all the bad times, you had with them, if you knew them," explained Trego.

This service commemorates the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"At first, I was shocked; how could this happen in our country?" explained Trego. "When we saw the first tower fall, you just knew, the people in there, there was very little chance of survival of anyone."

Each year, more names are added to the list - people who make the ultimate sacrifice serving their communities.

Trego thinks of their family members and the agencies who lost a brother or sister.

"I think what hits me more now at this time in my career is all the other folks who have been and will be effected by the loss of that individual," explained Trego. "The cliche I hear out there all the time - the folks say, 'all gave some, some gave all.' I say, 'we need to put that further, that there are some who are still giving just from that incident, not to mention the day to day things we do every day.'"

Trego is asking people to remember and honor the sacrifices made by first responders before and after their names are read at a remembrance service.

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