Heroes remembered at Battalion 43 memorial in Coney Island

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CONEY ISLAND -

As the world remembers the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, a group in Coney Island honored those who lost their lives.

FDNY Firefighter Jim Molinell is the organizer of the Battalion 43 Annual Memorial. He says three of his close friends in the department were killed on Sept. 11.

Molinell was assigned to Engine 246, and the second tower collapsed as they crossed the Brooklyn Bridge headed over. He says the hours and days that followed brought a pain like no other.

"As a fireman, you always want to be productive and help someone. I felt like I just couldn't do anything, you know, you kept on digging the piles days on days. It was so…I felt so helpless," says Molinell.

This year, fellow Sept. 11 first responder Capt. Vincent Cirino asked to speak at the event.

"There is no hero above that to knowingly go in when you know you're not going out," says Capt. Cirino.He says he hopes his words will resonate with the younger members of the department.

"I realize that of the two or three or maybe 400 that are here today, probably 75% of them weren't on the job. So it's hard, for them and it's no fault of them, to almost lose sight and understand how powerful and what that day meant," says Capt. Cirino.

Capt. Vincent Cirino's Full Remarks:

For that reason, and for the families, is why Molinell says he started the event.

He says they began this event 16 years ago with about 20 people. There were hundreds in attendance Wednesday.

He says he plans to continue holding the event each year to ensure we never forget.

"Till the day I die I will not. That'll be my mission. If I'm the only one standing here so be it. Because I lived, and they didn't. I'm here and they're not,” says Molinell.

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