22 Aug 2014
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City Firefighters Dedicate 9/11 Memorial Garden

Fire Chief Tim Scranton gives an early-morning speech Sunday in honor of the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Beverly Hills Fire Department and the city's police honor guard led a dedication ceremony at the newly finished  on Sunday to honor the victims of Sept. 11 on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

The ceremony took place at 6:45 a.m. to —the south tower and first tower to fall—at 9:59 a.m. EST (6:59 a.m. PST).

After the flag at the memorial site was raised and then lowered to half-staff, Fire Chief Tim Scranton talked about the events that led to the deaths of nearly 3,000 people 10 years ago. A bagpiper played throughout the ceremony, at one point performing "Amazing Grace."

In a special tribute to the firefighters who died while trying to save victims, Capt. Joseph Matsch rang the station's bell in a tradition that firefighters have practiced for more than a century.

"When a firefighter dies in the line of duty, it is the mournful toll of that bell that solemnly announced a comrade's passing," Scranton told the attendees. "To announce the loss, an officer would ring out a special signal of five-five-five. This would notify all personnel on the circuit that they had lost a fellow member of the fire service."

After the signal rang, Scranton and Matsch placed a wreath at the foot of the memorial, which features a a 30-foot, 1,900-pound twisted steel beam from the World Trace Center wreckage that the city received from the Port Authority of New York.

"It is absolutely an iconic moment for the city of Beverly Hills," Mayor Barry Brucker said of the now complete 9/11 Memorial Garden. "This is one of the defining times, where we celebrate peace and tolerance and everything that we stand for—everything that America stands for. I couldn't be more proud of everyone involved."

Scranton, who that is installed in the garden, said it was his "honor and privilege" to be a part of the effort to bring the 9/11 Memorial Garden to fruition.

"I'm so grateful for everybody that's touched us with this project," he said. "It was a labor of love. I think you can see that in every element here."

The city raised more than $350,000 in private donations for the project, with an additional $150,000 worth of donated materials, labor and supplies from contractors. Engraved in the memorial are the names of the 2,977 identified victims of the attacks, along with excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, "The Star-Spangled Banner," "America the Beautiful," "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" and the "Navy Hymn."

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