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.

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.

Joseph Grzelak . . . William L. Henry Jr . . . Kathy N. Mazza . . . .

"To me, that's what this memorial is all about," Boaz said. "In Healdsburg, we truly will never forget."

Ben Gilliam, a retired Healdsburg firefighter and now a Sonoma County fire instructor, spearheaded the drive to bring a piece of the 9/11 to Healdsburg.

"We should never, ever, ever forget those people who ran into those buildings knowing they probably wouldn't come out," he said.

Eric Taube Olsen . . . Salvatore T. Papasso . . . Ricardo J. Quinn . . . .

Former Healdsburg resident Fred Vellutini, whose grandson-in-law died in the third airplane, funded the $3,000 memorial.

Healdsburg native Tami Mariani said she felt a special connection to the 9/11 first responders after a group of 34 female rescue workers featured in the book "Women of Ground Zero" visited Healdsburg in 2002 at the invitation of locals.

"It's important to support your community," she said, standing near the memorial Tuesday night. "They left a piece of their hearts here and now we have a piece of this here."

Peter Vega . . . Nathaniel Webb . . . Raymond R. York . . . .

"We hope this monument will inspire reflection and healing," is the message inscribed on a plaque on the memorial, "even while it recognizes grief and loss."

Contact Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 762-7297 or lori.carter@pressdemocrat.com.