NEW YORK — The New York Fire Department’s heroism during the attacks of 9/11 were remembered during the 10th anniversary of the attacks yesterday.
Yet to some there was something missing from the tributes and memorials, the 12 Black firefighters who died that day.
The Huffington Post reports:
Leon Smith was one of 12 black firefighters to lose his life that day. Their stories have gone largely untold, their faces rarely shown in the photo exhibits or memorial projects dedicated to the fallen firefighters.
The FDNY received widespread public support and good will after the attack. But the department has long struggled to recruit and retain firefighters of color. The city’s fire department, boasting about 14,000 members, is overwhelmingly white. Only about 3 percent of the force’s firefighters are black, roughly the same proportion that served during the attacks and in recent decades. (In an eerie coincidence, the 12 black firefighters who were killed on 9/11 represent just about 3 percent of the FDNY’s total deaths.)