On September 1, 2013 Officers of the Brentwood Police department donned the “America’s First Responders United” badge, and will continue to wear it through the entire 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, in cooperation with Absolute Victory Insignia, developed the idea of crafting a symbolic badge to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
The badge is a very attractive piece of art. The centerpiece of the badge is the Pentagon flanked by the World Trade Center Twin Towers. 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 fallen First Responders. The seven stars, above the head of the eagle, represent each public agency that lost a member that fateful day.
The idea of the Brentwood Police Department participating in the First Responder project was presented and approved by Chief Evenson in May, and all badges were paid for by the Brentwood Police Officers Association. This badge signifies solidarity, honor and respect for all those who perished that fateful day.
The price of the badge was $100 each, and the BPOA spent over $5000 to purchase one for every officer and sergeant in the department.
According to Eric Huesman, President of the Brentwood Police Officers Association, they learned about the “America’s First Responders United Project” (AKA: 9/11 Badge) from one of their officers.
“The BPOA decided to participate in the project because we believe it is important to remember not only those that perished that fateful day, but the sacrifices that are made on a daily basis by all first responders across the country,” explained Huesman. “As time marches on, especially with the hustle and bustle of daily life, this is something that is easy for all of us to let slip to the back of our minds.”
Huesman explained the badge and its meaning while sharing that you never know when that day of sacrifice may appear.
“The 9/11 Badge displays the two towers, which are labeled “Fire” and “Police” and have the numbers “343” and “71” at the top to signify how many of each profession were lost during the attack on the World Trade Center,” explained Huesman. “We all hope that our government continues taking steps to prevent an attack of that scale in the future, but the truth is, police and fire fighters are hard-wired to put themselves in harm’s way in order to protect others, and that ultimately means there will be more sacrifices. Every one of us starts our shift fully aware that we do not have the luxury of knowing when that day will appear.”
On October 1, 2013 all 9/11 badges will be carefully stowed until the following year.