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Davis Journal

New art piece highlights beam from Ground Zero

Sep 24, 2021 11:30AM ● By Anna Pro

South Davis Metro Fire Chief Dane Stone explains the art installation at Station 83 that is centered around a piece of a beam from the towers that fell on 9/11.

CENTERVILLE—When the twin towers fell on Sept. 11, 343 firefighters and 71 police officers died that day. Those lives were lost but not forgotten. In an effort to honor their memory, South Davis Metro Fire Station 83 in Centerville was given the street address of 343 S. Main. Now the station has a new art installation centered around a piece of a beam from Ground Zero.

“Capt. Steve Duffield created the piece to represent how it looked, sort of a honeycomb or skeleton of the building,” said SDMF Chief Dane Stone. “Once you know what that is and understand it, it’s a great piece that does the beam justice.”

When the Centerville station was being built, former Chief (Jeff) Bassett contacted the NYFD foundation and asked if they could get a piece of a beam or something from Ground Zero, Stone said. “Bringing this in made it more personal to us.”

Stone said they believe it came from World Trade Center One. “Because of the reenforcement at the EOC, but that’s just an assumption.”

Duffield cleaned up the ends of the beam and revealed the words “Made in the USA,” said Stone. “It’s heavy. It’s hard to think of the amount of weight it took to crumble and the strength to make it come down.”

On the walls beside the metal framing hang several photos depicting the events of that day taken by people who were there or from other images. “Steve’s wife is a photographer,” said Stone. “I love the fact that the photos are on metal. It really pulls it together.”

The SDMF presented the beam and its history during a ceremony on Sept. 11 in honor of the 20th anniversary of the attacks. “We started when the first tower fell with a moment of silence,” Stone said. “Myself, Deputy Chief Greg Stewart and Wood Cross Police Chief (Chad) Soffe talked about the events of 9/11 and the impact it had. Then we had another moment of silence at the time the second tower fell.”

Stone said they pulled out the bell from Station 81 and did a series of bell tolls. “That came from the box alarms at the old NYFD. They would ring the bell five times as a fire alarm. When a firefighter died they would ring it for him as his last alarm. We used the bell for the first tower and again for the second tower. We had a bagpiper and our chaplain gave a prayer.”

Not only were 343 firefighters killed on 9/11 but there were also 71 police officers, he said. “We wanted to incorporate the police as much as we could.”

The installation is in place but Stone said it isn’t complete yet. “We want to put up a plaque that not only honors the firefighters lost that day but the 3,000 other people that perished.”

There are a lot of firefighters here who are too young to remember where they were that day, he said. “But most of us remember exactly where we were and what we were doing. I think this is why it will be good for them to understand the importance of it.”