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The fire department has a three-foot steel beam from one of the World Trade Center buildings.

COURTESY PHOTO: DAVE NEMEYER - A piece of the World Trade Center on display at Forest Grove Fire & Rescue.Forest Grove Fire & Rescue will host a short memorial service for the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 at 9 a.m. Saturday, under the large American flag by the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Laurel Street.

"The fire service has a really deep connection to that day and the sacrifices made," Fire Marshal David Nemeyer said. "As a nation, Americans aren't used to being in a nation under attack, and I think it's important to remember what that is like. It is a history-changing event that shaped the last 20 years."

Nemeyer said the department will display a three-foot steel beam from one of the World Trade Centers it acquired from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey around 10 years ago.

The ceremony will include remarks by Forest Grove fire officials and Mayor Pete Truax and is expected to last half an hour.

Truax says it is important to remember the courage and sacrifices of first responders after planes hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.

"As people were fleeing down the stairs away from the danger on the upper floors, firefighters were going up the stairs almost to their certain death to rescue people," Truax said. "I think this day helped develop an understanding of what it means to be a public servant. I think it changed and shaped a lot of people's viewpoints of firefighters and all public servants about what it means to give yourself to your community."

Forest Grove has been hosting an annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony for years.

Nearly 3,000 people — most of them U.S. citizens — died in the 9/11 attacks in New York City, Northern Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Michael Kinkade, who retired last year after more than a decade as Forest Grove's fire chief, made a point of sharing the stories of victims of the attacks every September.

"It is not the numbers we should remember, but the people," Kinkade told the News-Times in 2018.

The public is invited to attend the memorial on Saturday, Sept. 11. Attendees should wear face coverings to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.


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