A random act of nature unfolded Tuesday when the most regal of American symbols, a bald eagle, perched atop a fire truck during a Twin Cities Sept. 11 ceremony.
The unscripted landing added to the moment on the Main Street overpass above Hwy. 10 in Coon Rapids, where firefighters from various departments were paying their annual tribute to those who died 17 years ago in the coordinated terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and to the emergency responders who rushed into harm’s way.
“Look what landed on top of the aerial on 9/11,” on-the-scene Andover Fire Chief Jerry Streich said on a video post on the department’s Facebook page. “Isn’t that unbelievable?” the narrator continued. “This eagle just landed on the aerial while we’re doing the 9/11 memorial. Phenomenal.”
After surveying the scene for about 45 seconds, the eagle flew off to the east.
By Tuesday evening, the video had more than 1 million views on Facebook and collected more than 12,000 comments. “We’re getting calls from all around the country,” Streich said.
For the event, firefighters from Andover, Coon Rapids and Ramsey set up various vehicles on the Main Street overpass, and posted American flags and draped a banner over the railing that read, “We will never forget.”
The firefighters, joined by veterans from various military campaigns, waved to motorists passing below. “We couldn’t have asked for anything more patriotic,” Streich said.