On September 1, 2014 Officers of the Hercules Police Department will don the “America’s First Responders United” badge, and wear it through the month of September. This is being done to honor, all the “First Responders” who lost their lives due to the events on September 11, 2001.
In 2010 members of the San Diego Police Museum staff, in cooperation with Absolute Victory Insignia, came up with the idea of a badge to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9-11. The badge was offered to San Diego County Police, and Fire, Personnel as the “San Diego County First Responders UNITED” project. The Las Vegas, Nevada City Marshal’s Service heard about the project; and joined as the “Clark County First Responders UNITED” project.
Many other Law Enforcement and Fire Personnel, across the United States, inquired about participating in the 10th Anniversary project; but time restraints did not allow anyone else to join in at that time. Overwhelming requests to participate led to the “America’s First Responders UNITED” Project.
On September 1, 2014 personnel from over 200 Law Enforcement, and Fire Agencies, in twenty States, will proudly wear this special “UNITED” badge. On October 1, 2014 all 9-11 badges were carefully put away until 2015. The Project organizers have the goal of having all “First Responders”, across America, wearing the same optional badge, every September.
Each badge is customized and reflects the name of participating agency; State or City seal; rank or name of the employee; and their personal identification number. This project is voluntary and all personnel have purchased their own badges (upon agency approval); and there is no cost to the tax payers.
Hercules Police Department, along with Napa Police and Fire Departments, are the first agencies in Northern California to participate in the “America’s First Responders UNITED” project. Nine regular Hercules Police Officers, and four Reserve Police Officers, have purchased their own badges. The other eleven officers will be issued badges, purchased with donated funds. Those badges will be checked back in, to the Department, at the end of September.
This badge is a very symbolic piece of art. The centerpiece of the badge is the Pentagon flanked by the World Trade Center Twin Tower. Around the edge of the Pentagon are the words “Never Forget Americas First Responders”, and the word UNITED in red white and blue. On the Fire Tower is the number 343, representing the number of firefighters lost on 9-11. The number 73 appears on the Police Tower, representing the number of fallen Law Enforcement officers. The seven stars, above the head of Eagle, represent each pubic agency that lost a member that fateful day.
The idea, of the Hercules Police Department participating in the First Responder project was presented to Chief William Goswick in May of 2012. Chief Goswick approved the project as paying respect to the 9-11 First Responders has special meaning to him. He grew up in New York and knows many that were directly affected by this tragedy.
On Tuesday, September 9, 2014 the City of Hercules will present a Proclamation commemorating the 13th Anniversary of 9-11, at the regular council meeting. Members of the Hercules Police Department will be present, proudly wearing their “America’s First Responders UNITED” badges. We hope the community will join us in this fitting tribute.
We shall never forget
We shall keep this day,
We shall keep the events and the tears
In our minds, our memory and our hearts
and take them with us as we carry on.