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Federal Way 9/11 memorial prepares for groundbreaking
Federal Way's 9/11 memorial, which includes a steel beam from the World Trade Center, will break ground next week.
The twin towers were destroyed Sept. 11, 2001, when al-Qaida terrorists hijacked four passenger jets in a coordinated attack. The hijackers crashed the jets into both World Trade Center towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a rural field in Shanksville, Pa.
Last year, two South King Fire and Rescue firefighters drove to New York to retrieve the steel beam, which will become the foundation for a local memorial.
Federal Way's memorial will honor nearly 3,000 victims who lost their lives in the 9/11 tragedy — firefighters, police officers, citizens and more. The memorial will include a recognition of veterans from each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
A groundbreaking ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday at South King Fire and Rescue station 64, 3700 S. 320th St. (east of Interstate 5). A free pancake breakfast begins at 9 a.m. The event is open to the public, and all donations will go toward the memorial.
The South King Firefighters Foundation is collecting donations and arranging in-kind contributions. The project is expected to cost about $25,000.
The memorial awaits final approval from the City of Federal Way before construction begins, likely in the spring, said assistant chief Gordie Olson. The goal is to finish the project by Sept. 11, 2013.
• In August 2011, Lt. Scott Mahlen and firefighter Sven Schievink drove 55 hours to New York to bring back a steel beam from the World Trade Center. Click here to see photos and learn more about their journey.
• To contribute to the memorial, mail tax-deductible donations to South King Firefighters Foundation, 31617 1st Ave. S., Federal Way, WA 98003.