Piece of 9/11 at new South Padre Island fire station
Tue, 11 Sep 2012 23:44:37 GMT —
It's been four years in the making and after a hard hit from Hurricane Dolly, it was time for a new fire station on South Padre Island.
The opportunity to commemorate Fire Station 1 came on 9/11 " a day when so many firefighters gave their lives to save others.
"That was a very sad day, not only for the nation, but again it's the deadliest day in the history of the U.S Fire Service, Fire Chief Burney Baskett said. 343 brothers got killed that day."
Adding significance to the grand opening ceremony, was a one-ton piece of steel rebar that was brought to the Island from Ground Zero in New York.
The steel piece was once a part of a beam on one of the Twin Towers.
"Having a piece of the World Trade Center is bittersweet, Baskett said. It's neat to have it here (and) we're very honored to have it here. It's a daily reminder of the sacrifice, the traditions and standard we're held to every single day."
Island Mayor Robert Pinkerton said the voter-approved station cost $3.8 million to build.
It's energy efficient, has an in-house gym and sleeping quarters with better climate control.
Guy Blatnick, one of the first volunteer firefighters on the Island, was at the ceremony. He said it was time for a new station and adds the steel beam will serve as a reminder of the American people's ability to rebuild.
"I think it's a great honor to have a piece of 9/11 here, Blatnick said. Especially with what happened to us in 2001 - we had our tragedy on the bridge also."
The beach patrol will also relocate their headquarters to the new fire station.
Baskett adds the station is built to last at least 50 years.