Pearl Harbor. JFK’s assassination. Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. Sept. 11, 2001.
All major events in which people remember where they were when they saw or heard the news. The latter event will be honored on Monday, Sept. 11, at the Sedona Fire District’s Station 6 on State Route 179.
According to SFD Chief Kris Kazian, the setting for the ceremony will be at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza in front of the station beginning at 9:11 a.m. but those attending are asked to get there a little earlier.
“To have a 3,000-pound piece of the World Trade Center right here in Sedona brings it all home,” Kazian said. “The world collectively wept that day and in our community we have a significant piece of our country’s history. We can truly say that ‘we will never forget.’”
There will a guest speaker from New York City who was working in the World Trade Center when it was attacked in 1993 and saw the events of 9/11 unfold in person. In addition, there will be the presentation of colors by the Sedona Verde Valley Firefighters Charity Honor Guard and comments from Kazian and Sedona Police Chief David McGill.
“Sept. 11 started out like any other day in the lives of those 71 officers and 343 firefighters, but ended in a way they never expected,” McGill said. “That day is a reminder that first responders across this country place themselves in harm’s way every day to keep the public safe, and they do this willingly and honorably. This somber day is a time to reflect on the many sacrifices made by our public servants.”
City Councilman Scott Jablow, who at the time was a member of the SFD Governing Board, made a request more than three years ago through an organization that provides pieces of the Twin Towers for the purpose of memorials. At first he was turned down. But just when he had lost all hope in getting it, he was told that the district would receive the steel girder — believed to be from the 20th floor of one of the towers — as long as the shipping was paid.
“We now have our own memorial and I’m proud that people have a place to go and reflect as well as honor the lives of those lost,” Jablow said.
Last year, hundreds came out as the memorial was officially unveiled during the 15th anniversary of Sept. 11. Since then, it’s become a popular spot for visitors passing by.
“Inevitably we have someone stop there every day to see it,” Kazian said. “The memorial is a very small piece of a much larger piece of American history.”
Jablow, a retired Port Authority of New York & New Jersey officer, concurred.
“I drive by there almost every day and I see people there all the time,” he said.