Well-known member
Apr 23, 2018
If you see any New York City firefighters wearing their navy blue dress uniforms, you may be able to tell where they were on September 11th, 2001. In 2003 Chief Peter Hayden and Chief Joe Pfeifer collaborated on designing a campaign commemorative decoration which was awarded to FDNY firefighters at the WTC site during 9/11 and the nine months that followed during recovery. They then created a corresponding ribbon. But they wanted the ribbon to tell the story.

The medal is attached to a purple and black ribbon and bar pin, and has the FDNY logo on the front with “September 11, 2001” printed across the logo. The back of the medal features the Thomas Franklin image of firefighters raising the flag at Ground Zero with “Survivor / September 11, 2001” below the image and “Fire Department / City of New York / World Trade Center” around the border.

The corresponding rectangular ribbon is black and purple. The purple and black are typical traditional mourning drapes that we either wear, or adorn the firehouse. The 343 in the purple field symbolizes the 343 members that were murdered. In the black field there are three distinctions.

A black field with no stars indicates a firefighter that took part of the overall search and rescue campaign.

One gold star in the black field indicates the firefighter arrived within 24 hours on scene after the towers collapsed and performed as a rescuer.

Members with two gold stars are survivors, on scene when the buildings came down and now recognized as the highest award in the FDNY.
Chief Pfeifer said, “The two stars basically meant that you should not have survived, and you were there before the collapse and somehow you made it out.”

Chief Hayden said; “We certainly feel that there were members there, survivors in particular, that were placed at a greater degree of risk than campaign workers. But we felt that everybody in the department, because of all the effort that was put forth during the rescue and recovery operations and the many months there afterwards deserved recognition.” The medal represents the fire dept coming together, and now looking towards the future.

Of course no ribbon can relieve the emotional and physical toll of nightmarish conditions we persevered through to retrieve our brothers and fellow Americans under the most straining conditions. And still, many firefighters are paying the price with poor health, incapacitation and weakness. Many great firefighters have died prematurely. But to a man, “nobody would have changed a thing.”

Let us never forget, all gave some, some gave all.



Well-known member
Jun 22, 2007
Thank you very much Dan, "johnny gage" for taking the time to explain, as well as post the photos, to those who did NOT know, including myself, the various WTC medals and ribbons.

I know that for those of you who were a part of it, you lost many friends, as well as Brother Firefighters.
As you (Dan) say; "no ribbon can relieve the emotional and physical toll of that day and the days that followed".

I would also like to mention that last night (Tuesday 9/6) I attended a zoom meeting in which 9/11 was the focus.
There was also several members from this web site that also attended.
Those who were on the FDNY and FDNY Dispatchers who were on the job when that incident happened, and the days and weeks that followed, who told their own story.
I'm sure it was NOT an easy thing to do.

We heard other stories from guys who were firefighters and dispatchers from other places throughout parts of the country as well

There was also a member from this site who presented us with a video of some of the 9/11 Memorials throughout various parts of the country.
It is a tribute to those who were lost that day, as well as those who we are STILL Loosing as a result of 9/11.

We must also include Members of the EMS. They treated and cared for those that they could and put their own lives in danger as well.
As well as Our U.S. Military Members who in a matter of moments, were needed to protect our country from any more attacks, as none of us knew where or who was next.

We MUST NEVER FORGET For Generations to come - NOT Only the Attack on the World Trade Center, but also on the U.S. Pentagon and the plane crash that took place in Shanksville, Pa as the passengers tried to keep that plane from crashing into the "White House".
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