FDNY widows invite Utah woman to attend 9/11 anniversary in NYC
NEW YORK CITY — In 2001, Carrie Pike helped sew more than 400 grief teddy bears for the families of the firefighters killed on 9/11.
Fast forward 20 years, and her friendships with some of those families are as strong as ever, particularly with those of the 15 firefighters from Engine 54 who were killed when the Twin Towers came down.
Just this week, she was invited by the same families to New York City to private events, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
“I haven’t seen these people for 20 years, a lot of them, and to feel that connection so strong again was just beyond words,” said Pike.
Pike said the streets near where the towers once stood was full of people Saturday, honoring the heroes who died saving lives.
Being on the ground for the events is an experience she said she will never forget.
“It’s was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky,” said Pike. “In fact, a lot of people mentioned that it was very similar to the day on 9/11.”
In Midtown Manhattan, she attended a private ceremony for Engine 54 family, where she said the FDNY captains’ and lieutenants’ speeches were powerful.
“The words that were spoken were so full of emotion, of course, and so tender and yet so strong in family and God and America; it just was really patriotic,” she said.
A moment that truly touched her was when the children of the heroes thanked her for the Carrie bears she gifted them back in 2001.
“To actually hear them say that was really meaningful,” said Pike.
To be with them on the anniversary of this historic day is something she said she would cherish for the rest of her life.
“I have made lifelong friendships with these people and they are in my hearts forever,” said Pike.
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