South King Fire honors 22nd anniversary of 9/11

Program starts at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, at South King Fire Station 64, 3700 South 320th Street in Federal Way.

At 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, at South King Fire Station 64, 3700 South 320th Street in Federal Way, join local first responders to remember the lives that were lost and the lives that were changed on Sept. 11, 2001. South King Fire welcomes Colonel Michael F. Keenan as a guest speaker. Colonel Keenan is retired from the United States Air Force and United Airlines.

The memorial at South King Fire’s Station 64 displays a 10-foot-long piece of steel from the World Trade Center; a stone from the Shankstown, Pennsylvania, the site of Flight 93’s crash; and a block of limestone from the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The memorial was dedicated in 2014.

The memorial also includes a stalwart pear tree in tribute to the only tree that survived at Ground Zero in New York City.

Nearly 3,000 people — including 343 firefighters — died in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. On that date, members of the Islamic group al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger jets and crashed them into both World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania.

In 2011, South King Fire’s Lt. Scott Mahlen and firefighter Sven Schievink drove 55 hours to New York to retrieve the steel beam, which was stored in a warehouse at JFK International Airport.

During the 2011 trip, the firefighters also picked up a rock from Shanksville, Pa., with help from the National Park Service. The cracks on the rock resulted from the impact of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed into a field, killing all 44 people on board including the four hijackers.

One of the passengers aboard that flight was Todd Beamer, who helped lead a revolt against the hijackers with the battle cry, “Let’s roll.” Beamer is the namesake for Todd Beamer High School, which opened in Federal Way in 2003.