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My Memorial to the "FDNY-343"

"A CROSS FOR A BROTHER"

I started this memorial for the 1st Anniversary. 343 handmade wooden crosses to represent all our "Brothers" killed on Sept 11th, 2001.
I made & painted every cross taking approx 3 months to finish. We displayed them at the station I'm assigned. To set out the display, I had the help of many Brothers (on-duty, off-duty, retired, & our Chiefs). The crosses were displayed from the evening of Sept 10th thru the 16th. We kept lights on the crosses at night. We had many visitors come by & express their gratitude for the sacrifices made on Sept 11th by the FDNY. Many visitors said that seeing the display & walking around it that they felt it was Holy ground. My response to them was: God was there when everything happened on Sept 11th & God is here with us now & always.

God Bless the FDNY - 343

Here are some early pics of the 3rd anniversary new permanent memorial for our Brothers:

The ht is 11' tall with a width of almost 5'. The letters / numbers are 6" diamondplate.

 
 
 


 
 


 
 


 
 


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Pic of the 1st anniversary.

Pic of the 1st anniversary.

Pic of the 1st anniversary.

Pic of the 1st anniversary. This cross has now been replaced with the memorial cross.

The main cross has every Brothers name. The object hanging in the middle of the cross is the chain & dog tags (2 Brothers killed) I wore during the 1st year after Sept 11th. The names on the dog tags are: Angel Juarbe (Ladder 12) & Thomas Farino (Eng 26).

Pic of the 1st anniversary.

Pic of the 1st anniversary.

Look really close into the red & you can see the reflection of the crosses. My way of showing the crosses (Brothers) are part of us & who we are.

Pic of the 1st anniversary.

The morning of Sept 11th, 2002. One year to the minute, the Garland Fire Dept set of the tones & a memorial speech was read over the radio. The Garland Fire Dept Honor Guard (Jerry Click -left, & David Gott - right) stood with the cross in memory of our fallen Brothers.

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In Nov 2007, it was decided to make a permanent memorial for all the nameplates from the crosses. I came up with an idea that I passed onto Chief Grammer, Chief James & Chief Knight. They liked the idea & Capt Tokar together with AAI Trophies (Plano Texas) put that idea into an incredible memorial. It was unvieled at the GFD Awards Banquet in Jan 2008. Below are the pics. It is housed in the front lobby of the new GFD Admin offices located at 1500 State Hwy 66 in Garland (75040).

ALL the nameplates were used to create
"The Towers".
 


 
 


 
 


 
 
 
 
 

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Below is an article that appeared in a local paper:

'A Cross for a Brother'
Firefighter plans Sept. 11 tribute to fallen comrades

GARLAND - A year later, Aron Saffell's eyes well with tears as if it were only yesterday. The Garland firefighter and Allen resident hasn't made it to New York to visit ground zero, but to hear his friends tell it, not a day has gone by during which he hasn't thought of the 343 men who paid the ultimate price at the World Trade Center last Sept. 11.

Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 10, and continuing through the following Monday, passers-by will be able to see Saffell's tribute to his fallen brothers: 343 short, white crosses - row on row - with a taller cross in the middle, arms spread like father welcoming his children.

The display will be at Garland Fire Station No. 7, 2545 Naaman School Road, near where George Bush Turnpike meets State Highway 78.

It's a vision Saffell says he's had almost since the day of infamy itself. It's a sight he hopes will feel like "a sock to the gut, raw in the throat" to those who behold it.

"It's burned in my mind what this is going to look like," he said as he blinked back tears while looking across the 50-foot by 195-foot yard on which the memorial will be constructed. "I'm telling everybody that if you want to talk to me about it, talk to me now, because on that day I'm just going to point to where the (public information officer) and fire chief are. The closer it gets, the harder it gets."

Called "A Cross for a Brother," the project is intended to help keep the public from forgetting the actions of New York firefighters that day, Saffell said. The center cross - built by Garland Fire Capt. Larry Bowen, who owns Sunshine Shutters in Wylie - features each of the 343 names.

Saffell, a 16-year Garland fire veteran, said he believes it's hard for laypeople to appreciate the intense bond that many firefighters feel for one another.

"Whether its New York or L.A., North Dakota or Laredo, we're all a brotherhood," he said. "I want this to be about the crosses, and I want it to be about the guys. I want the people to think about firemen and what they do."

Close friend and fellow paramedic Jerry Click said Saffell originated the idea and began working on it before he told anyone about it.

"Sept. 11 has affected him like no other person I know," Click said of Saffell, a 2002 Collin County Father of the Year nominee. "He took it very personally. He thinks about it every day.

"When he came up with this idea, there was no stopping him."

Click said Saffell has been putting in 10-hour days to get the crosses assembled, sanded, painted, and engraved.

Meanwhile, Saffell has been in touch with N.Y. firefighters and plans to send photos of his project. It's the least he can do, he says, to support his East Coast colleagues.

"You want to do something. You want to do more," he said. "This is my way of helping them."
 

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