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The Danville Fire Dept. today held a 20th anniversary commemoration for 9/11. The event was held outside the department’s Lynn Street headquarters/station, where a memorial featuring a six-foot, twisted steel I-beam from the collapse of the World Trade Center twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001, is located.
In 2012, New York firefighters presented the beam to Danville firefighters. The beam marked the brotherhood among firefighters, and specifically the brotherhood established with the Danville firefighters who went to New York to assist in the aftermath of 9/11. Those firefighters were Randee Brown, Ray Earp, Steve Finkner, Ken Jones, Steve New, John Quinn and Billy Scearce.
Jones, now a fire captain, gave the keynote speech today. He shared memories from those days at Ground Zero and concluded with the following message: “Do not mourn the death of the 2,977 of our American citizens,” Jones said. “I ask you to celebrate your life in their memory. I need you to laugh a little louder, smile a little brighter, hug a little longer, and love just a little bit more.”
Also participating today were Fire Chief Dave Coffey; Danville Police Maj. Chris Wiles; Danville Sheriff Mike Mondul; Tommy Barber with the Danville Life Saving and First Aid Crew; Mayor Alonzo Jones; Councilman Sherman Saunders; City Manager Ken Larking; firefighter John Epps; bagpiper Tm Carpenter; and the Danville Fire Dept. Honor Guard.
All those in attendance held a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane crashed into one of the twin towers.
View the ceremony on the River City TV Facebook page.