Sioux Falls first responders were able to enjoy a tasty treat in-between calls on this Nine-Eleven anniversary. Volunteers made food deliveries to the fire department's doorstep.
Retired teachers along with members of AARP South Dakota distributed care packages of homemade treats to both Sioux Falls firefighters and law enforcement Wednesday. It was their way of commemorating the September 11th attacks and the lifesaving service first responder provide every day.
The firefighters headquartered at Station 2, located at 10th and Sycamore, were caught off-guard by their 9/11 gift baskets.
"Completely surprised, we weren't expecting it," Mike Wilson of Sioux Falls Fire Rescue said.
Homemade baked goods and fresh fruit, complements of Sioux Falls Area Retired Teachers and AARP.
"Today we actually close all of our offices across the country, staff is out working with volunteers to do great things in communities," AARP South Dakota State Director Sarah Jennings said.
Retired teacher Gretchen Tweet made brownies.
"As I was making the bars last night, my husband was wondering where these were going to, so I had to explain they were going to the firefighters. As I was taking them out of the pan, a couple fell apart so I said you can have a couple that fell apart so he got to taste them and said they were good," Tweet said.
The volunteers visited with firefighters, sharing their memories of September 11th.
"I know when it happened 12 years ago, when I was teaching, they didn't want us to talk about it with our students because they didn't want to be afraid. But I think now, it's something we need to talk about and remind them, yes, it did happen and it's part of history," Tweet said.
Here at Fire Station 2, you'll still find daily reminders of that tragedy 12 years ago.
"Our thoughts go out to the families of the 343 firefighters that passed away that day, the over 3,000 civilian lives that were lost that day. You just kind of take that all in and maybe say a moment of prayer for those families that are still surviving," Wilson said.
The volunteers visited every fire station in the city, bearing gifts of gratitude and a recipe for remembrance.
"It's also a good occasion to remember and just be happy for the ones who are still here," Tweet said.
The firefighters at Station 2 missed out on the goodies last year. They were out on a call when the volunteers arrived with the treats.