It was a day Rusty Moss, training officer with the Hillsboro Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services, came up with a plan to pay tribute for the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack.
“Rusty came up with this idea,” said Fire Chief Ben Steketee. “I’m not sure exactly what inspired him, but he texted me at 8:32 a.m.”
Moss wanted to know if he could put the fire trucks on Grand Avenue.
“I told him I thought that would be beautiful,” Steketee said.
Soon after Moss was given the go-ahead, fire, police and EMS vehicles were lined up in front of Hillsboro City Hall.
Steketee said firefighter gear was laid neatly in front of the ladder truck, and at the top of the 60-foot ladder, the American flag was waving in the wind.
Moss and Kevin Marler did most of the work.
Throughout the day, Steketee said people would drive by and ask about the tribute.
Two people from Michigan who were visiting relatives in Hillsboro said they were also firefighters and were impressed with what their Hillsboro comrades did.
“People were still stopping by this morning to say how much they appreciated it,” Steketee said.
One individual wondered why the community didn’t know about the tribute until they walked by.
“It happened so quickly,” Steketee said. “I think it was more of a personal tribute from Rusty, and the rest of us, rather than doing it as a public display.”
Almost 3,000 people died on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. According to one report, it was the deadliest day in history for New York City firefighters, when 343 were killed.
The tribute in Hillsboro ended at about 8:45 p.m.