From Valerie Harris, Orcas Island Fire and Rescue,
Late last summer, Orcas Island Fire and Rescue took delivery of an artifact from the World Trade Center that was destroyed in the attacks of 9/11/2001. It was decided at that time that a permanent monument would be constructed to house the 700# steel beam and give honor to all of the public safety officials who lost their lives while rendering aid to the victims of the attack.
An ad hoc committee comprised of Orcas Island Fire and Rescue members, San Juan County Sheriff’s Deputies, and members of the public have come together to realize those plans. A concept for the memorial has been decided upon and the location, pending an assessment from an engineer.
The technicalities of the design are now being honed and a focus on fund raising is in the works. This monument will be built and maintained with donations from the public and the Volunteer Firefighter and EMT Association, a non-profit group. It is the goal of the committee to raise enough funds to construct the first phase of the project by September 11th of this year.
The first phase will see the steel beam, mounted on its permanent base and the ground work done. The next phase would involve the markers and donor pavers and benches installed. Beyond that it is the goal of the committee to install an interpretive display which will serve to tie the story of the event with the physical monument.
The committee has begun its fund raising efforts and so far have collected about $1000. The next event will be an “Old Fashioned Chicken Dinner” on August 4th beginning 5:00 – 8:00 pm at the Eastsound fire hall. Dinner will include choice of baked or barbeque chicken, cornbread, corn on the cob, salad, dessert, lemonade and coffee. Dinner will be offered for $15.00 for adults and $8.00 for 12 years old and under. All profits will go directly to the monument project.