“We, like many departments around the country, have been entrusted with a small portion of the World Trade Centers, as a reminder of the events of that day, and also as a way to keep alive the memories of the people who lost their lives in those buildings,” says Fire Chief Stuart Blasingame.
The memorial, which is a section of steel from the building, has been placed on a trailer for easy transport around Prosper and the surrounding area. It has been officially christened as the World Trade Center Mobile Memorial.
On Monday, Sept. 11, the Fire Department will host a memorial service at Frontier Park’s pavilion, 1551 Frontier Parkway, starting at 7:30 a.m.
Guest speakers at the event are two individuals with personal, eyewitness stories from that day in 2001. Firefighter Jose Prosper, a member of the New York Fire Department, and Police Officer Ronald Castro, currently a member of the Prosper Police Department, but a former New York Police Officer, will both share their recollections of that fateful day.
The local chapter of the Firefighters Association underwrote the cost of bringing Jose Prosper and his family to Prosper to participate in the event.
“Jose is the firefighter we have had a relationship with for many years,” said the Chief. “He has been there for 19 years and is assigned to E38 in the Bronx. On that day in 2001, Jose’s wife was dropping him off in Manhattan in response to all-hands call, as the second tower fell. He quickly responded and worked on the rubble pile for many months.”
After the morning ceremony, the WTC Mobile Memorial will be brought back to Central Fire Station, but will visit Rucker Elementary School, 402 S. Craig Road, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., then return to Central Fire Station.
That evening, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. the memorial will be on public display at Reynolds Middle School, 700 N. Coleman St. It will then return to Central Fire Station, bringing the annual remembrance activities to their conclusion.
“Our firefighters are very attuned to the sacrifices made by the first responders, of course,” said the Chief. “But, we also will always maintain the memory of everyone who died or was affected on that day.”