BRUNSWICK, Maine — Firefighters from throughout Maine gathered Saturday at the new Southern Maine Community College Midcoast Campus in Brunswick to dedicate a new memorial to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The memorial was dedicated at SMCC’s new Maine Fire Service Institute at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. It features a section of a girder from the World Trade Center donated to Bath by the New York City Fire Department, according to a press release from the college. Two Bath firefighters were part of the first FEMA response team at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11.
Bath Fire Capt. Mike Clarke was one of those first responders. He helped design the memorial with his son, also named Mike, and local artist John Gable.
“To many, this memorial may be just another piece of steel,” he said. “To the firefighter, the police officer and especially those of us that were at ‘The Trade,’ it is a section of steel from the World Trade Center. It is a symbol that helps resolve confusion, frustration and anger. … It aids in finding a positive from a negative and provides the anchor to hold onto hope and faith for the future.”
“Memorials like this are so important for our communities,” said SMCC President Ron Cantor. “They ensure that new generations of Americans never forget, that we always remember the sacrifice and dedication of our first responders.”
Maine Fire Service Institute Director William Guidon said the memorial had particular significance at the campus.
“This 9/11 memorial is a symbolic monument to motivate and inspire learning for firefighters that come through the door of the Maine Fire Service Institute,” he said.
Other speakers at the dedication included Freeport Fire Chief Darrel Fournier and Wells Fire Chief Dan Moore.
Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.