September 11, 2001 was one of the worst days in American history. On that day, terrorists, taking control of commercial airline flights, rained destruction on New York City, Washington D.C. and a field just outside Shanksville, PA. Many innocent people died, but first responders acted as they always do, heroically to save lives. In all, 2,977 innocent lives were lost that day, including 343 firefighters and 72 law enforcement officers. This beam was pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center buildings in New York City.
This beam and a mural were born out of the 15th anniversary planning to commemorate the terrible World Trade Center tragedy in New York City on September 11, 2001. Rio Vista was one of the towns across the country that participated in a lottery to obtain a piece of steel from the World Trade Center. That piece of steel had been displayed on a trailer for several years. The trailer was brought out only on special occasions. In 2016 a small group of people, as part of the RioVision volunteer organization, decided to make that reminder of an American tragedy part of a permanent monument.
This girder was mounted thanks to the efforts of Kevin Graham of Paul Graham Drilling, the Rio Vista Fire Department, the Rio Vista Fire Department Hotshots, Shea Homes and RioVision. The accompanying mural on the wall of the firehouse in front of you was painted by RioVision volunteers. It is the second mural painted by Rio Vision.
To finance this project, special challenge coins were designed by the Fire Chief’s wife and were sold to the public. Those funds paid for the girder mounting, the mural and the paint for the firefighters to repaint the front of the firehouse.
On the 15th anniversary of that day, the mural and beam were dedicated to those from the New York City Fire Department who responded, the 343 firefighters who lost their lives, and those who were forever affected by their heroic acts. This memorial is but a small token of our respect for all who go in harm's way.