9/11 Memorial Beam arrives
Nancy Simpson/The Madera Tribune
Madera County Administrator Jay Varney speaks to a crowd assembled at Madera Fire Station No. 58 to view the 14-foot beam section from the Twin Towers building that was destroyed during 9/11. The beam will be displayed throughout the county and will have a permanent home at Courthouse Park.
The salvaged beam from one of the Twin Towers that collapsed on September 11, 2001 arrived in Madera to be placed as a memorial in Courthouse Park.
On Saturday, a ceremony was held at the new fire station in Madera, Station 58. There were many city officials attending, as well as first responders and media.
Saturday morning, the beam was transported throughout Madera County, escorted by the American Legion Motorcycle Riders, law enforcement and firefighters from the area.
The ceremony began with the VFW presenting the colors, the Pledge of Allegiance, and then Madera County CAO Jay Varney gave the welcoming remarks, expressing appreciation for the officials attending, as well as the safety, fire, and law enforcement. Following was the invocation by Pastor Roger Leach, who gave a very meaningful prayer for the community and for the firefighters.
In his opening remarks, Varney explained briefly how this very special piece of memorabilia came to Madera. It began with the idea of Jorge Mendoza, a project manager with the County of Madera. One of his jobs is working with the Courthouse Park project, and he contacted a salvage company in the Richmond area, who had worked with salvaging pieces of the Twin Towers. In order for Madera to get one of these pieces, there was an interview process, which Mendoza carried through.
The beam has been known as the “9/11 beam” and will be placed in Courthouse Park permanently in September. It will serve as a memorial, not only for the remembrance of the terrible tragedy of September 11, 2001, but also as a memorial to the firefighters who have lost their lives.
The ceremony continued with Engineer Richard Bell, who read the Firefighter Prayer.
Cal Fire Assistant Chief Matt Watson gave the closing remarks, thanking all who were attending, and shared information about the funding of this project. He pleaded for us never to forget the 2,977 people who died in the Twin Towers, and the 443 firefighters who gave their lives in attempt to rescue those who were in the buildings.
The total cost of the project is $95,000-$125,000, and is funded primarily by donations. There will also be a website for receiving the donations. The site is currently under construction, but the URL is madera911memorial.com. Through this website will be an opportunity to purchase bricks for the memorial location, and there will be several levels of donations.