Local firefighters remember 9/11 at Friday's "Silent" walk

Local firefighters remember 9/11 at Friday's "Silent" walk

It's a special bond that's called hundreds of firefighters to walk the Ravenel bridge on September 11.

"They abandoned the truck and started running," Tian Griffieth said of the New York firefighters who served on 9/11.  It's a personal reminder for Griffieth, a North Charleston firefighter. "Anything could happen like that today, and we'd be in the same position."

Griffieth calls the unity between firefighters "the brotherhood." He saw the same comradery shown toward the local departments in 2007 when Charleston lost some of its own in a tragic fire.

"We lost nine guys in that fire," Griffieth said. "That echoes out through this community, out through the country. We saw the same outpouring in that event."

Griffieth was one of five firefighters who walked the bridge last year. Tomorrow, nearly 1000 people will join the 9/11 Silent Walk, including 125 departments from across the country. The public is welcomed to join firefighter

Firefighters will wear their 60-pound gear, some also carrying a firehose. 343 will also carry a special token: a picture of one of the 343 New York firefighters lost in the terror attack

Each firefighter will also ring a bell, completing their journey. The bell is an important part of firefighter culture, Griffieth explained.

"If you're on the fire department if you're on the job we want to be with you. We want to spend our day on 9/11 with those guys," he added.

Firefighter Christan Rainy will also walk Friday.

"It's not just in New York and Chicago. It's all over the world. We're all united," Rainy said.

He said the fragility of life is close to his thoughts during this time of year.

"It makes you appreciate your life," Rainy said, adding Friday's walk will be a mix of emotion and celebration.  "It started with a handful of people and now it's a 'bridgeful' of people."

The 9/11 Silent walk is free and open to the public. Participants will meet at Memorial Waterfront Park at 8 AM.

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