9/11 memorial welcomes all for public event
It’s one of those moments in history where people recall exactly where they were when they heard the news.
Saturday, Sept. 11, marks the 20th anniversary of one of this country’s darkest chapters. To honor the 2,977 lives lost that day — as well as the following weeks, month and years — the Sedona Fire District will again be holding a public event.
“This year’s event is coming along great and will have some expanded ceremonial items that will make it a special time to reflect and remember,” SFD Chief Jon Trautwein said. “Sedona Fire District is honored to host the memorial event and give the community a place and opportunity to reflect and remember the events surrounding 9/11.”
The event will take place at SFD Station 6, located at 2675 State Route 179. Visitors are asked to arrive by 8:30 a.m.
Parking is available at adjacent Christ Lutheran Church and the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley synagogue.
“The memorial at Station 6 is fitting to have here,” Trautwein said of the 9/11 memorial at that location. “There was a significant impact to the fire service that day and to remember and reflect on how that affected us as an industry is important.”
Some 33 airplane pilots and crew members, 213 passengers, 125 workers at the Pentagon and 2,606 people at the World Trade Center were killed when highjackers seized four jets in flight. Two were flown into the Twin Towers, one into the Pentagon, while passengers on a fourth jet attempted to subdue the highjackers, forcing the plane to crash in a field near Shanksville, Penn.
Among those killed were 340 firefighters, 72 law enforcement officers and 55 military personnel.
Trautwein said a lot has changed within the firefighting profession as a result of Sept. 11.
“The fire service has had to increase its situational awareness and training regarding security and response to terrorist type events,” he said. “Additional personal protective equipment and training in addition to learning to respond into terrorist type incidents and become a part of the incident in close coordination with law enforcement has changed the way we think as firefighters.”
Mayor Scott Jablow, who at the time was a member of the SFD Governing Board. He’s also a retired police officer with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and lost colleagues on 9/11.
Seven years ago, Jablow contacted a foundation that distributed girders from the former Twin Towers to worthwhile causes. At first he was turned down but the following summer he got word that there was a girder available and he welcomed the opportunity to bring it here. Four years ago — during the 15th anniversary of Sept. 11 — the official unveiling of the memorial plaza was held, featuring the 2,900-pound girder.
“I’m so proud of the generosity of the people and businesses of Sedona as well as those from the surrounding areas,” Jablow said at the time.
Nearly $88,000 was raised through the efforts of the 9/11 Memorial Committee, which covered the cost of the plaza as well as the dedication ceremony.