Reader view: On 9/11, appreciation for the Fallen Firefighter Memorial

Today, after reading Thursday’s 9/11 memories article, I and my friend Chuck (a Vietnam vet who later worked on the Vietnam War Memorial in California) decided to visit our Edmonds Fallen Fighter Memorial to honor the service people who lost their lives on that day. It truly is, as your reader Bernie Busch said, “a powerful memorial” and like him, I encourage all to visit and not just look or take photos, but take time to take it all in, to read the names of the fallen firefighters, police and EMS workers. To thank them for their courage and sacrifice. But, also be sure to read the plaque that stands near the original sculpture created for the Fallen Firefighter Monument.

Doing so will give you a greater appreciation of this 9/11 monument paying tribute to the nearly 3,000 people who died that day, and other aspects of the memorial with significance you might miss. Two of those are how the beam from Ground Zero came to be here and the significance of the small blue, red and clear glass squares that make up the image of our flag on the two standing walls. Learning just some of what went into the creation of this memorial made our visit here so much more meaningful, adding to our respect and gratitude, not only for all those who died but the local firefighters and others responsible for creating this memorial for our town. We were grateful to Bronco, a humble and dedicated 30-year firefighter stationed here in Edmonds, who spoke with us and not only shared additional information (i.e. the acquiring and transporting of the steel beam) but who, we discovered later, was one of those having a big part in making it a reality.


A sobering steel beam recovered from Ground Zero stands in the center, with metal representations of the twin towers standing below it on both sides, and around the base four metal plates listing the names and ages of all the fallen from the fire, EMS and police departments. Framed by two walls with small red, blue and clear glass squares, placed to create an image of a waving flag, representing the 60 police (blue), 343 firefighters (red) and 2,574 civilians who died that day.

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Many flowers had been laid at the base and a few individual roses, left lying across the bent rivets running up the sides of the beam, were to me a poignant symbol, whether intentional or not, of so many first responders who gave their lives, climbing up and down stairs of the Twin Towers to save others, many who lived because of their courage, sacrifice and dedication to duty.

— By Vicki Hone Smith


  1. Where is the memorial? I do not live in Edmonds any more but want to be sure to do as you suggest and see and appreciate it and all it stands for. Location please. It looks beautiful.

    1. It’s next to the downtown fire station 17 across from Civic Field — official address is 275 6th Ave N, Edmonds, WA 98020

  2. Thank you for this post. The photo is poignant, as the rose I left to honor my cousin who died in Tower 1 is shown here. He wasn’t a firefighter, just a regular Joe who went to work on that fateful morning after kissing his wife and 3 little girls. His beautiful daughters are all grown up now, which makes this anniversary even harder. He has missed so much. On another note, in 2012 I traveled to NYC (my first home) to read names at the memorial. Several of the names I read were those of firefighters and the only female captain of the Port Authority Police. It was an honor to recite their names and focus on their selflessness, something that is lacking so much in our world today.

    I’ve placed a rose on that beam every year since that precious piece of steel was brought to Edmonds. We recently moved away from Edmonds after 31 years, but I will always return on 9/11 to mark the day that changed my family’s life and the lives of those taken forever. God bless our country; May God protect us always.

  3. Patricia, you are so welcome for the post. I am so glad you saw my article and were able to respond. I hope seeing your rose in my photo and learning that it’s presence had an impact on another person was comforting, if that is possible. Your story touched me deeply, as I know yours is one of way too many who had their lives forever changed that day when their loved ones died in such a horrific act of terrorism on our country. May you and your family continue to find solace in sharing memories of your cousin and may our country find a way back from the hatred that divides us now from within, as well as without.

  4. Thank you Vicki, this meant a lot to many people. It is stories and well written thoughts like this that help heal, it helped me.

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