9/11 remembrance opportunities• The artifact goes on display noon-3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Museum & Arts Center’s DeWitt Administration Center, 544 N. Sequim Ave., across from the old Sequim High School. Then it moves to the Sequim Veterans of Foreign Wars Building, 169 E. Washington St., until 4 p.m.
Thanks to three dedicated police officers’ efforts, Sequim soon hosts a permanent 9/11 tribute.
Sequim Police Chief Bill Dickinson, Detective Darrell Nelson and Officer Randy Kellas leave Thursday, Sept. 1, for New York City to retrieve a piece of the fallen World Trade Center. Dickinson said the officers would bring back an 843-pound rectangular sheet of steel measuring 36 inches by 32 inches by
3 inches thick.
“We don’t know the condition but I assume it’s in bad shape,” Dickinson said.
The officers are using vacation time for the 6,000-mile trip to pick up the steel sheet on Sept. 6 from the Port Author-ity of New York and New Jersey. There’s no cost for the artifact except for the officers’ travel expenses.
They plan to arrive back in Sequim on Sept. 11 to display the artifact at the Museum & Arts Center’s DeWitt Administration Center from noon-3 p.m. They’ll bring the artifact to the Sequim VFW Hall for an hour afterward.
Dickinson said the police department plans to propose the artifact be made into a permanent, local memorial to those who gave their lives.
“We want to put it on display until we get a city memorial devised,” he said. “We’re hoping to find an artistic mind to make suggestions on what to construct.”
Nineteen-year Sequim P.D. veteran Kellas said it’s the opportunity of a lifetime to make a small imprint on history.
“There’s not many pieces of artifact available to do something like this,” Kellas said.
Police and firefighters with Clallam County Fire District 3 have waited for more than a year to hear from the Port Authority. Former police chief Bob Spinks submitted the original request.
Dickinson said the artifact memorializes the 3,000 victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and honors the lives of 343 firefighters, 60 police officers and eight EMT/paramedics who ran into the Twin Towers to save lives.
“It’s an event that should be honored by all Americans because our country was attacked,” Dickinson said. “But public safety individuals should put a higher emotional value to it.”
The three officers plan to spend one full day in New York and at Ground Zero.
“We want to experience where (the artifact) came from,” Dickinson said.
Nelson, a detective for nearly seven years, said the trip is an opportunity for the three of them to share in an event that changed the face of this country.
“It’s modified America’s transportation and how we live and do business,” Nelson said. “This (artifact) acknowledges that the event occurred and the world is a different place.”
They don’t expect recent natural disasters near New York to hinder the artifact’s pickup.
“We’re hoping New York will be completely recovered by the time we arrive,” Dickinson said.
The Sequim Police Department already received donations to help the officers cover their expenses for the trip. To contribute to the cause, drop off a check at City Hall, 152 W. Cedar St., or at the Police Department, 609 W. Washington St. Make checks out to “City of Sequim 9/11 Fund.”
Contact the City of Sequim at 683-4139 and the Sequim Police Department at 683-7227.