Austintown event to feature firetruck from ruins of WTC
By Danny restivo
Members from the township’s Beautification Committee will remember 9/11’s fallen victims with a piece of history from the World Trade Center attack.
The township will host a memorial Tuesday for all victims who died Sept. 11, 2001, at the Mahoning Valley 9/11 Memorial Park on South Raccoon Road.
The event begins at 6 p.m. and will include a fire engine that was buried in the World Trade Center wreckage.
Don Jordan, a captain with the Nimishillen Township Fire Department in Stark County, will bring to the ceremony Fire Engine 293. He bought the partially destroyed New York City fire engine in November 2002 for $2,800 at an auction. He then spent $8,000 and 18 months refurbishing it.
Jordan said he takes the engine all over Northeast Ohio so people can remember the sacrifice New York City firefighters made that day.
“It’s about keeping the memory alive,” he said.
Jordan said Engine 293 belonged to a fire station in Queens. Eighty New York City firetrucks were destroyed in one day, which makes this truck special, he said.
Because the truck was stuck in rubble, the only way it could be used in the rescue efforts was by pumping water from the Hudson River, Jordan said. For three weeks and 24 hours a day, Engine 293 helped provide much needed water, said Jordan.SFlb “The only reason it survived was because it was buried underneath all the rubble,” he said.
Along with the refurbished fire engine, Tuesday’s service will include a presentation from the Austintown, Youngstown, and Canfield police and fire departments’ honor guard, a performance by the Celtic Flame Pipe and Drum Corps and a ringing of the bell as the final call for all the fallen firefighters.
The Austintown fire department will also hoist a large garrison flag on to two fire truck ladders.
The park also has a steel beam from the World Trade Center that is encased in granite and resembles the shape of the twin towers. Pat Connolly, the 9/11 Memorial Park Committee chairman, said the park also has four 250-pound limestone blocks from the Pentagon that was damaged, as well as an urn filled from the dirt on the field where Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pa.
“It’s not a firefighter park or a police park; it’s a park for everyone,” said Austintown Firefighter Fred Marcum. The 15-year veteran said he and some other firefighters were coming back from a call when the department secretary ran out from the office and told them what had happened on that fateful morning. Marcum said they were glued to the television for the rest of the day. Marcum will be present when area residents pay their respects to the fallen.
“We all went through it, but we need to remind ourselves and others what happened on that day,” he said.