A viewer of BBC show The Choir: Sing While You Work was so moved by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Choir’s rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising on television that she has presented a commemorative 9/11 statue to representatives from the choir and Chief Fire Officer Paul Hancock.
Marlene Hargreaves has relatives in America and was sent the statue following the events of September 11th 2001 but after watching the choir’s performance on the BBC2 programme she wrote to the Service to ask if she could make the presentation.
Marlene said: "When the choir from the Fire Service sang The Rising it reminded me exactly how I felt when, with my family, I visited the site where Flight 93 came down, near Shanksville in America.
"I wanted to present the statue to Cheshire as a tribute to all firefighters and the work that fire and rescue services do."
The tribute was gratefully accepted by Chief Fire Officer Paul Hancock and choir members Area Manager Gus O’Rourke, Equalities & Diversity Officer Erin Fulton, Firefighter (Control) Helen Oulton and Station Manager Stephen (Bud) Flanagan.
The Rising was the perfect choice for the choir as Area Manager Gus O’Rourke, tenor section member, explained: “The Rising holds a special meaning for every single member of the choir as it was written by Bruce Springsteen in reaction to the September 11th 2001 attack on the Twin Towers in New York in which 341 firefighters, 60 police officers and 10 paramedics lost their lives.
“But, for the choir, the song isn’t only a reminder of those who fell on 9/11, each time they sing it, they feel it is a tribute to those emergency services personnel in the UK who have given their lives in the line of duty.”
The song has helped Cheshire Fire Choir make it through to the finals of the series in which choirmaster Gareth Malone puts staff from five organisations through their choral paces in an effort to be named the best workplace choir. You can watch them compete in that final on BBC2 on Sunday 22nd December at 21:00 and repeated on 27th December, BBC2 at 18:30.