On September 16, 2009, Chief Richard Brannon of the Vienna Township Fire Department sent a letter to the New York Port Authority requesting an artifact that was salvaged from the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.
After receiving word from the New York Port Authority that the department would be given two beams, a fund was set up by the fire department by the newly formed 9/11 Memorial Committee to defray the cost of the project. The 9/11 Memorial Committee announced the creating of the fund through a letter to the community's organizations and businesses.
Approximately $7,000 was raised from businesses and private donors. Memorial bricks bearing the names of donors were created and placed on the walkway in front of the memorial.
After nearly two years of correspondence with the New York Port Authority, Chief Richard Brannon, Assistant Chief Michael Hagood, and Lieutenant John Hinely traveled to New York in July 2011 to obtain the two 8-foot beams. The Tribune Chronicle documented the arrival of the beams. The article, "Vienna Gets Piece of History," from July 22, 2011, may be found here.
On the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the Vienna Fire Department dedicated the 9/11 Memorial to recognize the 343 fallen New York firefighters and the thousands of others who lost their lives that tragic day.
"It took Vienna Township 10 years to reach Ground Zero. Far too late to change history, but just in time to honor it. -Richard Brannon, Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Chief
The events from the 9/11 Memorial dedication on September 11, 2011:
"The Flowers of the Forest"
Jay Mulligan, Bagpiper
Presentation of Colors
Vienna Volunteer Fire Department
Reverend Arch McCune, Faith-Based Coordinator
Lt. John Hinely, Vienna Volunteer Fire Department
Heidi Brown, Vienna Township Trustee
Capri Cafaro, Ohio State Senator, 32nd District
History of the Memorial
Chief Richard Brannon, Vienna Volunteer Fire Department
Ringing of Bell
Vienna Volunteer Fire Department
Trumbull County 911 and Vienna Volunteer Fire Department
Unveiling of Memorial
Vienna and Brookfield Volunteer Fire Departments
Stat MedEvac (unable to appear)
Blessing of Memorial
World Trade Center Artifacts
#I-151A & I-151B
These steel beams were recovered from ground zero and donated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department to honor and remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001
Dedicated on September 11, 2011 to the 343 firefighters who will never be forgotten
The video for the dedication ceremony on September 11, 2011 was recorded by Terry Wajda and John Hinely.
Coverage for the dedication also appeared in the Tribune Chronicle on September 12, 2011. The article may be found here.
The landscaping for the 9/11 Memorial was designed by Executive Landscaping of Vienna. Starr Manufacturing of Vienna welded the beams to their respective bases as their donation to the project. King Bros. Feed and Supply of Bristolville donated the concrete for the bases of the beams and the eagle statue. Proprietors of Tri-City Mobile Homes, Four Seasons Mobile Home Park, and workers from Executive Landscaping donated their time to prepare the site for the memorial leading up to the ceremony. Three memorial benches were purchased and placed at the site. Memorial bricks, featuring names of citizens, businesses, and past fire chiefs also line the path in front of the site.
9/11 Memorial Fund contributors:
Airport Auto Sales Corporation ($100)
Affordable Car Rental II ($25)
Avalon Golf and Country Club, Inc. ($3,000)
Brothers Pizza ($50 pizza donation)
Computer Stitch Designs, Warren ($50)
Copper Penny Lodge No. 778 ($132)
Duke's Sanitary Service ($500)
Eugene and Diane Emery of E. R. Emery Agency ($100)
Litco International, Inc. ($250)
McCullough Hardware ($50)
Reverend Arch McCune & family
Mikeee's II ($200)
National Fire & Water Repair/Ben Rudick and Son, Inc., Youngstown ($500)
Phil & Jill Pegg ($100)
Riverside Steel, Inc. ($100)
Short Holes Golf Course LLC ($100)
Vienna Amvets Post 290 ($100)
Vienna Dairy Queen ($100)
Vienna Lawn & Garden, Inc. ($100)
Vienna Township Neighborhood Watch ($50)
Wagon Trails Farms ($200)
Wearsch Family of Vienna Pharmacy Care ($100)
Winner Aviation ($250)
Yankee Kitchen ($100)
Vienna firemen in attendance at the 9/11 Memorial dedication in 2011:
Richard Brannon, Chief
Since the 2011 dedication, the department holds an observance on the 11th of September at the fire department each year.
In 2013, a plaque was dedicated with the inscription “You Are Not Forgotten 9/11/01” at the memorial service.
At the 2017 observance, dirt from the crash site of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania was added to the 9/11 Memorial site. The dirt was contained in an urn in the shape of an eagle. The urn was donated by Briceland Funeral Home in Brookfield.
A bell from a 1950s fire truck was also added in 2017. The bell, previously used at township parades and events, was donated by the William Hagood family. Starr Manufacturing, located in Vienna, refurbished and chromed the bell at no cost. The bell is used at the 9/11 Memorial service and at firefighter funerals as the "firefighters last call" to remember those who have served. The bell's wooden base, made of white oak and walnut, was constructed by Vienna resident Gary Clower in memory of Warren Clower and William Hagood.
The observance in 2020 was virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2016 the Port Authority announced the successful conclusion of its 9/11 World Trade Center artifacts giveaway program, following the distribution of more than 2,600 pieces of steel and other items to communities in all 50 states and 10 foreign nations.
Contributors: Richard Brannon, John Hinely & Christine Novicky
Coupland, Bob. "Fire departments showcase artifacts," Warren Tribune Chronicle, September 11, 2011.
Steffy, Mathew. Vienna dedicates beams," Warren Tribune Chronicle, 12 September 2011, page 6A.
Coupland, Bob and Pompili, Dan. "Communities pay respects,"Warren Tribune Chronicle, September 12, 2012.
Coupland, Bob. "Vienna dedicates plaque," Warren Tribune Chronicle, September 12, 2013.
Cummins, Lexy. "Flight 93 crash site dirt added to Vienna 9/11 memorial," Warren Tribune Chronicle, September 12, 2017.
Coupland, Bob. "Vienna man makes bell display," Warren Tribune Chronicle, September 31, 2017.
The legal transfer of the beams from the New York and New Jersey Port Authority to the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department may be found here.
"Port Authority Concludes Successful Program to Distribute 9/11 World Trade Center Artifacts," New Jersey and New York Port Authority Press Release #139, August 26, 2016.
Images courtesy of Christine Novicky.