KSC Fire Department dedicates 9/11 memorial
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla — Members of the Kennedy Space Center fire and police departments dedicated a new 9-11 memorial outside of the KSC Fire Department today, Friday, Sept. 11. Eighty local firefighters attended the ceremony. The centerpiece of the memorial is an actual steel beam from the World Trade Center, destroyed by Islamic terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.
The ceremony was attended by Brevard County Sherriff Wayne Ivey, KSC Associate Director Kelvin Manning, KSC Fire Chief Rick Anderson. KSC Fire Lieutenant Jim Dumont was the Master of Ceremonies.
“Every portion of the memorial is symbolic. The flagpole represents freedom, justice and liberty. The shield recalls the 343 fire rescue personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives while trying to save the lives of others. The twin concrete bases represent the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Those form the foundation for the centerpiece – a steel beam from World Trade Center,” Dumont said.
The Brevard Police and Fire Pipe and Drum Corp performed America The Beautiful.
“On September 11, 2001, here at Kennedy Space Center, I remember the day beginning as many others before: it was very busy. As the tragic events of the day unfolded, we gathered to watch and listen to the news. Physically, we were still in Florida, but emotionally, we were New Yorkers,” recalled Manning. “We were distracted. Could KSC be a target? The space shuttle orbiters were powered down, critical systems safed, facilities secured, and most of the workforce sent home. Remaining on Center were the protective services personnel. KSC fire and security were ready to respond to whatever happened here.”
Lt. Jim Dumont provided SpaceFlight Insider with a some background on their efforts to develop the memorial.
“We started about four years ago. It has been a lengthy process submitting the proper paperwork for such a piece. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have a criteria that you have to meet. It took us a long time,” Dumont said. “We thought maybe the paperwork that we submitted got lost. I kept making phone calls and sending e-mails. I started calling anybody and everybody. I finally must have hit a nerve, because Chief Anderson got an e-mail near the beginning of 2015 from the Port Authority saying that we had secured a piece of the World Trade Center.”
Dumont explained that you can’t just go to JFK and pick up a piece of the World Trade Center. “There is a lot of paperwork. They hold it in such high regard.”
In his remarks, Dumont thanked American Airlines in JFK, Philadelphia, and Miami. He also thanked the Transport Workers Union and the hundreds of members of local fire and veterans groups who met the artifact on its journey to KSC. Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey provided the final escort to KSC.
Kevin Smith, president of Transport Workers Union Local 525, recognized special guests that were in the audience:
“We are now going to memorialize the heroes of that terrible day. Heroes like New York Firefighter Captain Patrick Brown, who gave his life so that others may live. His sister Carolyn and brother-in-law Richard are here with us today. And Tim Brown, another New York Fire Fighter who is here with us here today. Tim, alongside other first responders [who] were charging up a building where everyone else was running down,” said Smith.
“When Kevin first called and asked if we could escort the artifact coming in, we said absolutely,” said Sheriff Ivey.
There was a moment of silence. A bell tolled nine times. Taps were played. Up until this point, the steel beam was draped in an American Flag. While the Pipe and Drum Corp played Amazing Grace., the honor guard folded the flag and presented it to Chief Anderson. The flag was then raised on the memorial flagpole and lowered to half staff.
The ceremony closed with a prayer by KSC Fire Department Pastor Dr. Russell Frahm.
On Sept. 11, 2011 Muslim extremists conducted attacks in New York and Washington D.C. Members of the Islamic terrorist group, Al Qaeda, hijacked four commercial aircraft. They then proceeded to fly the planes into the two towers of the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The passengers on the fourth plane fought back and that flight, United 93, crashed outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. All total, the Islamists murdered 2,977 people on the planes and on the ground.
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