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Healdsburg honors 9/11 first responders

  • Ruben Mandujano, Healdsburg Fire Department Engineer, second from right, showed his grandson Giovanni Arredondo, 4, the steel beam from the World Trade Center that was installed in Healdsburg Plaza. The installation was on display during the 9/11 memorial ceremony. During the ceremony the names of the 343 firefighters and 66 police officers that lost their lives on 9/11 were read.

HEALDSBURG -- On Sept. 11, 2001, the Healdsburg Plaza filled with people wanting to share their shock and grief over the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Eleven years later, the plaza was full again. This time, they came to remember those who gave their lives trying to rescue others that day. They came together to reflect and honor the police and firefighters who died in the World Trade Center attacks.

Tuesday's sunset ceremony marked the dedication of a permanent monument made of a 90-pound steel I-beam from the Twin Towers.

9/11 11th Anniversary

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As speakers read the names of all 343 firefighters and 66 police officers who died, the crowd of 200 grew still, with a hushed backdrop of barking dogs and fussy children.

Joseph Agnello . . . Louis Arena . . . Steven Joseph Bates . . . .

Healdsburg Mayor Gary Plass asked those assembled to thank the nearest person in uniform. They "walk through these mouths of danger and we never know if they're going to return," the former police sergeant said.

The memorial is mounted on a concrete pillar, its five sides representative of the Pentagon. It lies in a patch of green grass to recognize those who died in a field in Pennsylvania when the third hijacked airplane crashed.

Peter J. Carroll . . . Tarel Coleman . . . Andrew Fredericks . . . .

Healdsburg Fire Capt. Jason Boaz was a new firefighter in Boise, Idaho, in 2001. He remembered feeling helpless watching his "brothers and sisters" rush into the burning towers. Healdsburg is far removed from New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, he said, "but in our minds and our hearts, they couldn't be closer."

He asked that people focus not on the tragedy of the day, but the heroism and bravery of the first responders.


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