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Grand Junction Fire Department holds 9/11 20th anniversary ceremony

Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 8:10 PM MDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2021 at 8:11 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Today is the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. It’s a time to reflect on the sacrifices so many Americans made. From the first responders to the citizens in the towers, on the flights, and at the Pentagon. As well as the family members left behind. The Grand Junction Fire Department held a ceremony in honor of the anniversary today.

“9/11 is an event that is permanent in the fire service,” said Grand Junction Firefighter Ethan Archer. “It changed everything about how the fire service operates on a tactical & operational level. It’s something that’s on the forefront of our day to day life.”

At the Grand Junction Fire Department there is an existing memorial sculpture piece with many significant components. There is a piece of steel from 1 of the towers with twin acrylic towers on each side of it that light up at night. There is a pedestal with a plaque, a pentagon bench, as well as a larger piece behind it. The large metal piece signifies the firefighters going up & down the stairs of the towers to help citizens get out. The blue on top is for the blue sky on that day, and the brown & green pieces represent Flight 93 crashing into the forest in Pennsylvania.

“Each piece of what happened that day is reflected in this memorial,” said Grand Junction Fire Chief Ken Watkins. “Which is pretty neat because I think it’s important that we remember everything that happened that day because there’s been so many people affected by that day.”

Every year all fire recruit academies provide a gift to the department to help remember their class. But Ethan along with the rest of this year’s class teamed up with Clemmer Welding to do something bigger because of the landmark anniversary of 9/11 this year.

“This being the anniversary that it is, our class came to the consensus that we wanted to put something together that was a bit bigger & more meaningful,” said Archer.

This morning the newest graduating class of the Grand Junction Fire Academy Recruits unveiled and dedicated a new memorial art piece honoring the 343 fallen firefighters who lost their lives on September 11th 20 years ago today. It also features the New York City skyline in August of 2001 and the work tools of firefighters, a tool and a hose.

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