September 11th, 2021
Duxbury is a beautiful community located 194 air miles, 239 driving miles from the World Trade Center. Despite being this far away September 11th touched all of us in different ways. This memorial is a representation of the twin towers. The steel is locked in between them as a memory of what it looked like that day. We remember, and we will never forget, the almost 3,000 lives taken from us. We honor the courage of those who put themselves in harm’s way to save people they never met.
This memorial is built around a piece of steel from the World Trade Center Towers. Our piece of steel has a story. The Duxbury Fire department requested a piece of steel through the FDNY’s fire commissioner like many departments have. We were lucky enough to be chosen and received an official letter from the FDNY saying that we would receive a piece of steel. One day we got a call from retired Rescue 1 FDNY firefighter Carl Scheetz who said he would be bringing our steel to the firehouse and wanted to firm up the details. Carl personally delivers steel on his own time in his own car and expense to fire departments around the country. Carl arrived at our firehouse with his wife after a long drive through Massachusetts traffic. He opened up the back of his car and told us to pick up the piece of steel. Besides it being extremely heavy we instantly felt many emotions and were not sure what to say to this firefighter who had driven this piece of steel from New York to Duxbury to honor 9/11. He said it was a unique piece that looks like stairs. We thought it was fitting that this piece of steel gifted to us from FDNY resembled stairs. Stairs, like those that our 343 FDNY brothers who died that day, used to go up as others came down.
He then showed us photos of the steel being cut and began to tell the story. The steel was cut by Mike Geidel of Rescue 1.
His brother Gary Geidel was on rescue 1 on 9/11 and was killed two weeks before his scheduled retirement of 20 years. Mr. Geidel put in for as many extra hours as could at Rescue Co. 1 in Midtown Manhattan, to prepare for his retirement including the day tour on Sept. 11th. Gary Geidel left behind a daughter and wife who was exactly nine years and 11 months younger than him. Gary Geidel, as well as 10 other firefighters from Rescue 1, perished in the attacks. Gary’s father Paul was a retired FDNY Lt at Rescue 1. He and seven other FDNY dads were at ground zero every day looking for their missing sons. He wound up dying from WTC-related cancer from being on that site every day. Mike’s other brother Ralph a firefighter was also at ground zero with his Dad looking for Gary and he too died from WTC-related cancer. September 11th has crushed the Geidel family. By Mike cutting this steel, he is remembering not only all his family members that have died from this tragedy but all those who live to carry on the memory of EVERY victim.
The memorial is a representation of the twin towers. The steel is locked in between them as a memory of what it looked like that day. When Mr. Scheetz delivered the steel he said when you build a memorial put it outside….put it somewhere people can touch it. This is why we chose this spot.
When visiting the memorial, we ask you to remember countless stories from 9/11 of acts of courage, kindness, and sacrifice.
We ask that when you think of 9/11 that you remember, the lives lost that day.
We ask that you remember those who are sick or who have died since 9/11 as after-effects from the days, weeks, and months of working in toxic conditions at Ground Zero.
We ask that you remember the thousands of families, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, and friends, that were affected by the loss of their loved ones.
We ask that you remember the members of our military, our veterans, and their families who work tirelessly and have made great sacrifices to keep us safe and protect our freedoms.
Most of all, we ask that you remember the endless examples of the enduring American resiliency and spirit, where in our darkest days, we shine the brightest.