The Dunedin Fire Department is joining forces with the community to pay tribute to those who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

The fire department obtained a steel beam from the World Trade Center eight months ago, and plans are in the works to use it for a 9/11 memorial. Their vision is to have a pair of stainless steel hands lift the World Trade Center beam out of a brick and granite memorial.

  • Dunedin Fire Department obtained steel beam from WTC
  • Department plans to use it in 9/11 memorial but doesn't have funding
  • Community organizations, businesses supporting project

The memorial, which Deputy Chief Trip Barrs hopes will be complete by Sept. 11 of this year, will be placed outside the Dunedin Fire Department’s Station 61 on Michigan Boulevard.

"We lost 343 firefighters on that day in NYC," he said. "We wanted a tribute to those firefighters to their sacrifice, and what better place to do it than in front of our newest fire station?"

However, Barrs says that because of budget problems, they haven’t been able to get the project started.

As a result, local community organizations and business owners have joined in to support the project.

Joe Kokolakis, who owns J.Kokolakis Contracting, Inc., said he lost a cousin in the terror attacks and is thrilled by the idea of having a memorial in Dunedin. He recently donated $5,000 to the memorial fund.

"It's important that people remember how frightened and angry and sad they were on that day and then it's important they remember how wonderful they felt when they saw the unity of a nation that came together in response to that day," he said. "But so many people lost their lives for that to happen. As time goes on it's easy to forget, but we can't. We can't forget."

The fire department will host a pancake breakfast to raise money for the memorial on Saturday, June 4, at Fire Station 61, at 903 Michigan Blvd. in Dunedin.