Apr 05, 2011 Erin Wisneski Uncategorized
This September marks the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on the United States.
To honor the memory of those lost in the attacks, the Baldwinsville Volunteer Fire Company (BVFC) has secured a 20-foot steel beam from the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. This beam will be the centerpiece of a 9/11 memorial site planned for the corner of Route 48 and O’Brien Road in Van Buren, next to the Baldwinsville/Lakeside Fire Station No. 2.
According to BVFC Lt. Jeffrey Holbrook, who is also chairman of the 9/11 Memorial Committee, the planned memorial will provide the Baldwinsville community and members of the local emergency services a place to reflect “on that day in American history, as well as a place to gather every 9/11 for a ceremony to remember all of those lost.”
In September of 2009, Holbrook wrote a letter to Port Authority of New York/New Jersey requesting a portion of the steel remnants from the North Tower to be used in a memorial. On Oct. 12, 2010, the request was granted and members of the BVFC, as well as members of the Skaneateles Volunteer Fire Department, retrieved the beam on March 10.
While the project was Holbrook’s brainchild, many hands have been involved to bring the memorial to fruition. BVFC member Seamus Horgan, an employee of NuCor Steel in Auburn, brought the idea to his coworkers and general manager. Holbrook said the company has since provided incredible support for the project.
“An engineer with NuCor Steel, Walt Senenko met with Seamus and I to discuss how best to accomplish completion of this project. Seamus and I explained to Walt what exactly the committee would like to see and he drew it on paper. From there, it became the centerpiece of our Memorial Park,” Holbrook said. Senenko also recruited interest from other companies, which have agreed to donate time, products and resources to complete the memorial, Holbrook said.
“We hope that the 9/11 Memorial Park will provide a place for the community to gather and reflect upon one of the biggest tragedies to ever effect our country, a place where parents can bring their children, a place where grandparents can bring their grandchildren to learn about the events of 9/11,” Holbrook said.
Currently, the beam is being stored at NuCor Steel until memorial plans are finalized. Completion is expected to be before the 10th anniversary.
When asked how 9/11 impacted firefighters across the country, Holbrook said it “was like losing a brother or sister to a heinous crime, 343 of them at once.”
“It is important for everyone to remember that day, to never forget the lives lost, the supreme sacrifice that 343 fire fighters made to help rescue people they didn’t even know and not because it was their job, but because it was a calling. A calling that few come to learn, understand and appreciate,” Holbrook said. “This country came together during one of the worst times in American history. That serves as hope that we the people, the United States of America, can make it through anything when we come together and with the grace of God.”