Helping the Nation
“The nation was scared, understandably, and we just wanted to help.”
That’s exactly what Chicago Fire Battalion Chief Patrick Maloney did 18 years ago.
“We arrived on September 12; it was late,” he said. “We were driving across the Washington Bridge in New York. We could see the smoke billowing in the distance.”
The Heroes of 9/11
In front of the crowd at the First Division Museum at Cantigny, Maloney recalled the story of how he assisted in search and rescue missions at Ground Zero following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
“As a nation we’re able to bend, but we’re never broken. That is our proud nation,” added Maloney.
Dedicating a Piece of History
The ceremony served a duel purpose – to honor those first responders who put their lives on the line on 9/11, and to dedicate a special addition to the museum – two beams from the World Trade Center.
“We’re looking for alliance between Cantigny Park and the First Division Museum’s mission with those that served as first responders, and also as veterans,” explained Gaylin Piper, the director of programs and education at the First Division Museum.
Ribbons of Remembrance
Visitors were invited to tie ribbons of remembrance to the display, offering a moment to recognize a day that changed our nation forever.
“I think of that day and the people that lost their lives that day,” said attendee Linda Mason. “I just don’t want to forget. And to have [the beams] I know it’s just a piece of steel, but it’s way more than a piece of steel. It’s honoring those that lost their lives that day. So it was important for me to come out and to be a part of this.”
The beams are now on display outside, next to the First Division Museum, where they’ll stand for years to come.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.
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