New Zealand firefighters performed a haka — an ancient war dance — in Auckland Wednesday, paying tribute to the first responders who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S.
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The Daily Mail reported that three New York Fire Department chiefs were in attendance when the group of New Zealand firefighters formed two rows and performed the traditional Moari ritual. The paper noted that "hakas are generally performed as a sign of great respect and are often presented at funerals, celebrations or sporting events."
U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa Scott Brown tweeted out footage of the memorial service hosted by the Otautahi Fire Service on the 18th anniversary of terrorist attacks, and called the haka "an appropriate and uniquely Kiwi way to remember the bravery and sacrifice of 9/11 first responders."
An appropriate and uniquely Kiwi way to remember the bravery and sacrifice of 9/11 first responders 👨🚒👩🚒 #KiaKaha… https://t.co/kBuQlNS9mU— Ambassador Brown 🇺🇸 (@Ambassador Brown 🇺🇸)1568173822.0
CNN reported that more than 200 New Zealand firefighters also climbed the stairs of Auckland's Sky Tower "in memory of the 343 New York City Fire Department firefighters who lost their lives in the September 11 attacks."