Silent walk over Ravenel Bridge honors heroes, victims of September 11, 2001 terror attacks

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Police, firefighters and community members gathered Monday morning for a walk on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in a show of support for the first responders and heroes of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The 10th Annual 9-11 Silent Walk began in Charleston and came to an end at the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant.

No words were exchanged and only the sound of cars passing by could be heard as people from all over the Lowcountry and beyond participated in the silent walk across the Ravenel Bridge during the morning hours.

Tian Griffieth, who serves as executive director and captain of the North Charleston Fire Department, said this decade-old ceremony started with a text message that was sent 10 years ago.

“This has been something that we started out as five friends … a text message saying hey, let’s go something on 9-11. We came out, we walked that day the entire Ravenel Bridge and that day set off a chain of events that have allowed us to be here for the last decade,” he said.

Now, thousands have joined the walk with support from across the spectrum – from kids who were born after September 11, 2001, to those who were there in person when the attacks happened 22 years ago.

“We immediately saw the smoke, and there was a solid stream of people that were running out of the area. We got to the base just before the collapse and we started taking care of people,” recalled 9/11 first responder Johan Zamoscianyk.

“We had seen the first plane hit the towers. We went from Queens, and by the time we got into Manhattan the second plane had hit and the first tower came down,” said Retired NYPD Detective Michael Rooney.

The moment of silence and process of first responders across the Ravenel — a symbol to serve as a reminder for everyone to see.

“We put 343 firefighters on this bridge every year, police officers, members of the community, walking as a symbol of those people that were lost,” said Capt. Griffieth.

After reaching the end of the Ravenel Bridge, participants gathered on the flight deck of the USS Yorktown where organizers held additional events commemorating 9/11 and the first responders.

“It’s a surreal event. Seeing everybody walking across the bridge is reminiscent of people walking up the westside highway,” said Zamoscianyk.

Event organizers say since the inaugural walk in 2013, over 6,000 people have walked the Ravenel Bridge to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

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Author: Walker Simmons