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Firefighter brings home steel from World Trade Center

AFD will create memorial to 9/11 victims

Nearly two years ago, Auburn Firefighter Julian Beale read a message that set something very powerful in motion. It was an e-mail announcing that the New Jersey/New York Port Authority would be accepting requests from organizations wishing to receive a section of the World Trade Center.

Firefighter Beale decided to apply on behalf of the Auburn Fire Department, where he serves as a full-time firefighter, as well as the Farmingdale Fire Department, where Beale is a volunteer firefighter. He wrote a two-page letter for each department, followed by countless forms, paperwork and even court documents.

“We were surprised at how long and complicated the process was, but we understand,” said Beale. “The New York officials just wanted to make sure that the steel was going to be treated with the respect it deserves.”

His hard work paid off. Beale’s dream of bringing the “Twin Towers” home to Maine became a reality on Thursday, June 30. On that morning, Beale picked up two sections of twisted steel in New York, one for the Auburn Fire Department and one for Farmingdale.

Beale and the other members of the Local 797 (Auburn Firefighters) have big plans for the piece of history that will remain in Auburn. They plan to create a permanent monument to the people who died on September 11, 2001 in front of the Central Fire Station on Minot Avenue.

“We are not exactly sure what the memorial will look like,” said Beale. “Our piece has a twist in it, so we will have a better vision as soon as we see it in person.”

The mangled piece of steel, which measures 22 inches wide and 134 inches long, will be a lasting memorial, a reminder of the day the towers fell. The piece of steel that will be going to Farmingdale Fire Department is somewhat smaller, only 4 feet long, so it will most likely be displayed inside the station.

Beale and his fellow firefighters are proud to provide a monument in honor of the firefighters, police officers, EMTs and civilians who died in the World Trade Center tragedy.

Updates will be posted on the Local 797 page on Facebook (on FB, search: “Local 797”).

The Auburn memorial will be unveiled and dedicated during a 10th Anniversary 9/11 Ceremony at Central Fire (550 Minot Avenue) on Sunday, September 11.

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