THE DEDICATION OF THE 9/11 MEMORIAL
“In Honor of the Fallen”
The much anticipated dedication of Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue District’s (PSFRD) 9/11 Memorial took place on September 11, 2015. The program began at 9:30 a.m. in front of Station 27 at 304 1st Street, Indian Rocks Beach. In honor of the victims of the collapse of the twin towers, District Chief Dennis Furnell took part in a fire service tradition that dates back to the mid-1800s. Long before radios, pagers or fire alarms, daily announcements were sent from headquarters to firehouses by a system of bell commands and telegraph. When a firefighter died in the line of duty, headquarters would transmit five bell strikes, repeated in four series. This custom has continued through the years to this day. It is a form of rendering final honors to departed comrades. In the fire service this is known as “striking the four fives.”
The dedication featured comments from local dignitaries with former Chaplain of PSFRD, Retired Fr. Robert Wagenseil as the guest speaker. At 10:30 a.m., a “Flight of Souls” took place with Lt. Llanes of the United States Coast Guard circling over the dedication in a helicopter which flew out of the Coast Guard Air Station in Clearwater. The Memorial includes symbols representing the Pentagon, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, firefighters, and World Trade Center victims. “There will be no inscriptions on the monument itself as the symbolism will speak to the individuals who view it,” stated Marshall Eiss, co-chairman of the project. The Benediction was given by the Chaplain of PSFRD, Reverend Fr. Jon Roberts of the Calvary Episcopal Church.
PSFRD Fire Inspector Robert Hill designed and has acted as the general contractor for the Memorial. He also was in charge of the donation program which provided the funding for the project. The Memorial was completely constructed with donations from the public and no money from the Fire District was used.
May We Never Forget