More than 50 firefighters, police, government officials and citizens gathered at precisely 11 minutes after 9 on Friday morning in front of Edmonds Fire Station 17 to mark the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center by dedicating a new memorial to all those who lost their lives that day.
“This monument was built by firefighters to honor not only our brother and sister firefighters, police and other responders who died that day, but to honor all 3,000 innocent lives that were lost,” said Edmonds firefighter Dave “Bronco” Erickson. “It stands in remembrance of all of them.”
Erickson spearheaded the project to bring a 1-ton steel I-beam from the wreckage of the World Trade Center to Edmonds, and make it the centerpiece of the new memorial. The memorial has been his vision and his passion for more than five years, and included a trip to ground zero to personally escort the beam back to Edmonds (see here.)
Secured in place earlier this week, the beam is flanked by two stainless steel and glass panels symbolizing the twin towers and composed of 3,000 individual glass facets honoring the 3,000 who died that day. Within the panels are 60 blue and 434 red facets arranged in an American Flag pattern to honor the police officers and firefighters who lost their lives as they fought to help and rescue victims.
“I want to give heartfelt thanks to the fire district and all who worked on making this memorial a reality,” said Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling. “To walk around this monument is truly a moving experience, one we should always remember.”
At the conclusion of remarks, Edmonds Police Officer Debbie Dawson raised her bugle and sent the strains of Amazing Grace wafting over the crowd. As the last note faded, the assembled firefighters snapped to attention and gave a slow salute as Dawson played taps.
“This park is a gift to all of you,” said Erickson in closing. “It stands as a timeless reminder of the sacrifice and loss of those who paid the ultimate price. Use it as a place of solitude, refuge and contemplation. May you find solace, comfort and closure here, now and for generations to come.”
You can see a video of the entire ceremony here.
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel