Fire bell tolls eleven times for 9/11


The City of St Augustine reminds Historic City News readers that they will hold a community gathering to remember those who died in the terrorist attacks against America on September 11, 2001.

The Ceremony of Remembrance will be held on Tuesday, September 11 starting at 8:30 a.m. at the St Augustine Fire Department main station located at 101 Malaga Street.

The annual recognition of the anniversary of 9/11 is open to the public.

The first Ceremony of Remembrance in St Augustine was held just two days after the attacks in 2001. It has continued each year on the anniversary of the tragedy.

As in the past, the brief program will include a presentation of the colors by the St Augustine Police Department Honor Guard, an invocation and musical presentations as well as brief remarks from city officials.

The ceremony will conclude with a minute of silence at 8:45am, timed to coincide with the time the first plane hit the first tower of the World Trade Center eleven years ago.

The Fire Department’s historic 1902 fire bell will rings 11 times; once for each year since the attacks. The fire bell originally occupied a tower atop the City Building at the turn of the 20th century. It was used to notify citizens of a fire. The first man to hitch his horses to the fire pump and get to the fire got $5.

The bell was loaned to the National Park Service in 1939. It hung in a tower of the Castillo de San Marcos until 1965. In 1986, the bell was donated to the St Augustine Historical Society and was restored. Its restoration was the result of a partnership between the City, Flagler College, the University of Florida, and the St Augustine Historical Society. The restored bell is installed at the main fire station; on loan from the St Augustine Historical Society.

The Ceremony of Remembrance ends with the playing of Taps.