9/11 steel beam centerpiece of Brewer Public Safety Museum

Posted Feb. 03, 2012, at 1:51 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 03, 2012, at 6:21 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — Local firefighters, police, ambulance crews and residents will always have a connection to those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City through a relic from the doomed twin towers on display in the Brewer Public Safety Museum.

“They can look at it and they can touch it,” Fire Chief Gary Parent said Friday of the mangled 6-foot steel beam from the World Trade Center. “We pretty much made that the focal point of the museum.”

The museum dedication is 10 a.m. Saturday.

When the new public safety building on Parkway South was built in 2008, there was enough money left over to construct the small museum, which is situated at the front of the building.

Slowly it has been filled with history, thanks to residents and those who supported fundraisers including the “Buy-a-Brick” campaign that paid for a majority of the displays, the fire chief said.

One memorial brick is inscribed with the name of Brewer firefighter George Abbott, 41, who died May 30, 1911, when he crossed the river to fight the massive fire that consumed the Queen City’s downtown. He was the lone firefighter to die in the line of duty during Bangor’s Great Fire.

Historic memorabilia, much of it provided by former firefighter Paul Tower, fills the rest of the museum, which also features the antique 1947 LaFrance firetruck that was brand-new when it was used to douse flames during that year’s fires on Mount Desert Island.

“Old helmets, equipment, an old radio, old photos” fill the display shelves, Parent said.

Mayor Jerry Goss, other City Council members, City Manager Steve Bost, Police Chief Perry Antone, firefighters, ambulance personnel, police officers, honored members of the public and Parent will be on hand for the dedication.

“The coolest thing in there is the piece of steel,” Parent said, noting that he has seen his firefighters and people from the public touching the memorial beam when passing by it.

The museum will be open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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