Next week, the nation will again honor those who perished on Sept. 11, 2001, and pay tribute to the first responders, families and friends who gave much in the wake of the tragic occurrences of that day.
In Gilbert, the remembrance will include a service at the town’s own 9/11 Memorial site, where community members and others from across the state will gather for the event.
The 9/11 Memorial in Gilbert was dedicated Sept. 11, 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. It was built using an actual steel beam from a World Trade Center tower, which now rests on a concrete stand surrounded by four granite slabs, bearing the names of those who lost their lives in the building, on the flights and on the ground as they worked to help others.
Gilbert’s then-fire chief, Collin DeWitt, and assistant fire chief, Jim Josusch, made the 87-hour drive to retrieve the 8-foot-long, 1,500-pound beam and bring it back to Gilbert.
“It was positioned and designed in this fashion so you can touch it, walk close to it and ponder the names of those who gave their lives,” DeWitt said at the dedication services.
Its positioning allows even small children the opportunity to reach out and touch the centerpiece beam, which once supported the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
At the dedication services, DeWitt said, as they were driving across the country many who saw and asked about the beam “felt the magic, unification and remorse” and said he became aware of “the good that would come from this particular piece of steel.”
Now, DeWitt said, “It’s turned into something even more than what we had anticipated.”
The Town of Gilbert is inviting the community to share this day of remembrance again this year. The Gilbert Fire and Rescue Department, along with the Gilbert Police Department, is asking the public to to join in remembering and honoring those affected by the tragic events at a an event taking place at Gilbert’s 9/11 Memorial at Town Hall on Wednesday, Sept.11, 2013, from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
“Please join in remembering this tragedy and celebrating the lives of those lost,” said the Town’s invitation to the public.
The program is scheduled to include a presentation of colors by a joint Police and Fire Honor Guard, and music from the Gilbert Fire and Rescue Department and the joint Arizona State Fire Department Pipe and Drum bands. The event also will include remarks from Gilbert Mayor John Lewis and new fire chief Jim Jobusch.
What: Gilbert 9/11 Memorial Ceremony
When: Sept. 11, 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Where: 50 E. Civic Center Drive, Gilbert