Gig Harbor Remembers 911

Representatives from the Gig Harbor Fire Department have just returned Monday, (Memorial Day), from New York City, with a piece of steel from the World Trade Center.  The four firefighters, Kent Cooper, Rob McCoy, Josh Bissenas, and Ryan Watson, picked up the World Trade Center artifact on Wednesday at Hanger 17 at JFK Airport.

Last Thursday they visited Ground Zero, and received a tour of New York Harbor on the “Firefighter”, and attended the commissioning ceremony for FDNY’s newest fire boat “Bravest,” which was built in Port Orchard.  Now this artifact is from September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City was awarded to Gig Harbor Fire and Medic One. It was the second piece of steel to be awarded to an agency in Washington.

The steel, identified as “Piece H-0028c” weighs 986 pounds and is five feet long, Gig Harbor Assistant Chief Eric Watson said.  Kiro

The agency plans to incorporate the steel into a memorial garden that will honor and remember the victims and emergency services workers who were killed in the terrorist attacks. The garden will be located in a public area of one of Gig Harbor Fire’s facilities.  The 4 firemen from Gig Harbor drove  a fire district pickup truck to New York City and back to retrieve the artifact. They took personal time off, and funded the trip with donations and their own money.

Their journal has been chronicled on the Fire District’s Facebook page:

Fire District’s Facebook page

While on their journey the team had to adjust its route because of storms in the Midwest, but other than that, the trip went relatively smoothly, according to updates posted on Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One’s Facebook page. 

“The closer we go, the deeper we get into the gravity of the situation,” they wrote this week. “We are driving across the country that was affected by this tragedy, sharing with strangers their emotional tie to 9/11 and to this mission, as if we were bringing it to their home town. And in a way we have.”  newstribune

Along for the ride was Mike, the favorite stuffed animal of McCoy’s son. The crew has been snapping photos of Mike along the way and created a photo album on Facebook to share his adventure.

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