Powerful: Stanford Fire Company creates amazing tribute out of flags to those who died on 9/11

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STANFORD, NY – The Stanford Fire Company recently put together a tribute to those who died on September 11th, 2001, consisting of 2,978 flags arranged at the Stanford Town Hall Hill.

The display was arranged in a manner where red firefighter flags were used to resemble the fallen towers, while civilian and police flags were arranged throughout the rest of the tribute.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro shared a post on Facebook, heralding the beautiful arrangement and sharing an aerial perspective of said tribute:

“This is simply beautiful. Created by the Stanford Fire Company at Stanford Town Hall Hill, the Twin Towers in red firefighter flags surround police flags. They’re flanked by USA civilian flags. Representing those lost on September 11, a total of 2,978 flags, including the Port Authority K9 lost that day, will remain until 9/19. Dutchess County will #neverforget #911 #september11.”

Molinaro shared additional photos from the memorial, which really put into perspective just how large this tribute to the fallen stands out when viewed from above:

“We will #neverforget those lives lost and the brave men and women who so valiantly and selflessly sacrificed to save so many.  The Stanford Fire Company on Stanford Town Hall Hill in Dutchess County has made this beatific memorial.”

Stanford Town Supervisor Wendy Burton also shared an image of the tribute via the Town of Stanford Notes from the Supervisor’s Facebook page, writing the following:

“There are no words to express the beauty of the visionary 9/11 Memorial so lovingly created by The Stanford Fire Company. They worked in the hot sun with their masks on to pay tribute to our fallen heroes.  This beautiful tribute will be repeated every year so we are reminded to Never Forget. Thank you every single member of the Fire Company and all of their volunteers who planned for so long and worked so hard to create this awesome display.”

Carol Pederson, a Stanford local, also commented on the display set up in the town, delivering immense gratitude that this endeavor was accomplished:

“I’m just so thankful to live in a town where people care and they’re not forgetting. And I’m just thinking this is just an amazing tribute. And I’m really grateful that my town has taken the steps to do this and, more specifically, the Stanford Fire Department.”

With all that has transpired throughout 2020, it is an amazing thing to see that despite all that has happened across the country this year, there are still those who never forget what took place 19 years ago today.

Another 9/11 tribute planned in New York City had encountered a little bit of trouble earlier this year – which almost resulted in the cancellation of the Tribute in Light. 

Here’s our report on that from August of this year. 

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – After considerable public outcry, officials at the 9/11 Museum and Memorial have reversed course on their decision not to have the iconic two blue beams known as Tribute in Light this year, for the tragic anniversary’s annual observance.

As we previously reported, the 9/11 Museum had canceled the display, stating that there were too many “health risks” from coronavirus for the large crew required to put the installation together.

The museum instead called for buildings to light up their own spires and facades in blue in what they called a “Tribute in Lights.”

Pushback ensued, with public castigation of the museum on social media. 

The museum was already under fire for disallowing families from reading the names of their fallen loved ones, which has been a tradition in the solemn 9/11 ceremony since it began. 

This second blow, canceling the Tribute in Light, was difficult to accept, for those seeking to honor and remember all who were lost.

Many people took to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum’s Facebook page to express their dismay.

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One commenter wrote:

“Never forget! The Pandemic is no excuse for not maintaining this important memorial.

“Thousands of innocent people have perished and front line workers died or taken ill as a result of the criminals responsible for their cowardly, hateful act. The Tower of light tradition should remain at the memorial.”

Another said:

“Never forget means never forget. Your decision to cancel the lights is a slap in the face to everyone affected by this tragedy. Disgraceful.”

The New York Sergeants Benevolent Association faced the issue head-on, and offered to host its own “Tribute in Light” on September 11.

SBA president Ed Mullins placed the fault of the cancellation in the lap of Mayor Bill de Blasio, stating:

“He allowed mass protests and riots in the city with no concerns whatsoever about the pandemic.”

Mullins went on to say:

“The mayor won’t find a way to honor these heroes, but the SBA will pay tribute to all of the fallen victims by arranging for a Tribute in Light. A twin beam of light will shine on the evening of 9/11.”

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation also stepped up to the plate and promised to make the display happen. 

The foundation honors firefighter Stephen Siller, who died saving others on September 11, 2001, and also honors all military and emergency responders.  Along with other charitable services to military and emergency responders, the organization works to provide smart homes for injured veterans, and helps families of fallen emergency responders pay off mortgages.

Frank Siller, Tunnel to Towers CEO and brother to Stephen Siller, spoke to Fox News about the 9/11 Memorial and Museum’s decision. 

He said:

“It broke my heart.  It really broke my heart.”

Siller touched on the massive public outcry on the decision, saying:

“The reactions that are from many other 9/11 family members, and many other New Yorkers, and many people from around the country, I’ve never seen the reaction that we have gotten.”

He added:

“I had one retired firefighter that was breaking down on the phone that couldn’t believe they were doing it….

“We said, ‘wait, wait, wait .. Tunnel to Towers, we got this.’ We are going to do it … We are going to make sure those two big beautiful beams of light, that represent the loss on 9/11 will be shining this year at Ground Zero.”

Now, it appears that the 9/11 Memorial and Museum has reversed its controversial decision and will allow the Tribute in Light to take place.

On their website, instead of the cancellation notification previously posted, the museum now announces,

“With gratitude to our Chairman Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, we will be moving forward with Tribute in Light to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.”

In a statement posted on Twitter, 9/11 Memorial and Museum President and CEO Alice Greenwald said:

“In the last 24 hours we’ve had conversations with many interested parties and believe we will be able to stage the tribute in a safe and appropriate fashion.”

Greenwald also thanked Governor Cuomo, Michael Bloomberg, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp:

“for the assistance in offsetting the increased costs associated with the health and safety considerations around the tribute this year and the technical support of so many that will enable the Tribute to be a continuing source of comfort to families and an inspiration to the world going forward.”

Michael Bloomberg, who is Chairman of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, said in a statement also posted on the Museum’s Twitter:

“Throughout my tenure as Mayor the Tribute in Light was a powerful symbol of New York’s recovery after 9/11.

“I am pleased that once again it will shine this year as a beacon of our city’s resilience.”

On the same Twitter post, Governor Cuomo added:

“This year it is especially important that we all appreciate and commemorate 9/11, the lives lost, and the heroism displayed as New Yorkers are once again called upon to face a common enemy….

“The state will provide health personnel to supervise to make sure the event is held safely while at the same time properly honoring 9/11.

“We will never forget.”

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