A Minneapolis fire department got perfectly-timed surprise on Tuesday when a bald eagle landed on the aerial ladder of a fire truck as the group put on a display to honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks on the 17th anniversary of the tragedy.
Volunteers and officials with the Andover Fire Department gathered at the station for their annual memorial, when they spotted the bird perched on the aerial of the truck. The bird sat long enough for Fire Chief Jerry Streich to capture it on video before it flew away.
“Look what landed on top of the aerial on nine-11. Isn’t that unbelievable? This eagle just landed on the aerial, while we’re doing the 9/11 memorial,” Streich is heard saying in the video just before the bird is shown flying away. “Phenomenal. And there goes the eagle.”
RELATED VIDEO: 9/11 Survivors Reflect on Their Miraculous Escape from the South Tower 16 Years Later: ‘We’ll Be Brothers for Life’
In the clip, a pair of fire trucks are shown with an American flag suspended between them to honor the victims and first responders of the terror attacks.
“I had to look at it a few times,” Streich told KARE. “Then I thought, ‘I need to videotape this!’ “
Streich told the station that several surrounding departments took place in the tribute, and it’s one no one will ever forget.
“There’s no better symbol to represent America today than a flag but then for an eagle to land on a fire truck holding a flag, I mean, it doesn’t get much more symbolic than that,” he continued.
For the event, firefighters from Coon Rapids, Ramsey and Andover put up American flags along the Main Street overpass and parked various vehicles nearby, according to Minnesota’s Star Tribune. They draped a banner over the railing that read, “We will never forget.”
Veterans joined the firefighters, and motorists driving by honked at the display.
“We couldn’t have asked for anything more patriotic,” Streich told the Tribune.
The Facebook video has been viewed more than three million times, and Andover fire officials gushed over the clip in a post, writing, “What could be more symbolic for this day? AND on a fire truck.”