Today at 10 a.m. the Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Department will dedicate its 9-11 Memorial at the Woodbridge Firehouse, 100 Center Road, Woodbridge.
This is the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC.
The Woodbridge Fire Department was one of the fire departments fortunate enough to acquire a piece of the World Trade Center towers to honor their 343 brothers who died trying to save others in the Twin Towers that Tuesday morning in 2001.
David Stein at Silver Petrucelli Architects provided several designs for the memorial for free and in the past month the firefighters have put in a lot of time and sweat preparing the space in front of the firehouse for the memorial.
Lauren Kenefick, the daughter of firefighter Thomas Kenefick said the result is "Breathtaking" as residents will see at today's ceremony. The men are so dedicated to the project that they even skipped participating in the Milford Firemen's Muster at which they usually excel and earn several trophies, to put the finishing touches on the memorial grounds.
A Long Process
Patch met with Lt. Adam O'Hara in early summer shortly after he and three other members of the department brought the 600 lb. rusted steel beam to the firehouse from New York.
O'Hara was accompanied by Asst. Chief Chris Parietti, Firefighter Steve Buda and Capt. Ted Pocwierz when it came time to pick up their piece of history.
He said that while in hangar 17, they saw many pieces of steel that were much more mangled and bent in impossibly contorted positions so they got a feel of the forces that were involved in the falling of the towers.
The Department learned that the steel pieces were available about two years ago and submitted an application.
It took several months before they heard anything back from New York and several months after that they received notice that the application was being processed.
In December, 2009, O'Hara received encouraging news that they most likely would get a piece.
Finally, on Feb. 15, 2010 he learned they would absolutely get one.
When you see the Woodbridge Memorial, remember that these men saw other pieces of steel from the towers that were crumpled like pieces of tin foil.
"All of us having been in fires before, to see what was happening to the 343 firefighters that died inside those buildings that day … it was a little sobering, it was a little awe inspiring, just to get a sense of what forces were at play." O'Hara said.