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Roswell fire station mural honors 9/11 firefighters’ sacrifice
by Joan Durbin
jdurbin@neighbornewspapers.com
July 02, 2013 12:02 PM | 1798 views | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Erin Gray<br>Roswell Fire Chief Ricky Spencer stands next to a piece of metal salvaged from the debris of the World Trade and mounted onto the 9/11 mural he commissioned.
Staff / Erin Gray
Roswell Fire Chief Ricky Spencer stands next to a piece of metal salvaged from the debris of the World Trade and mounted onto the 9/11 mural he commissioned.
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From those awful moments Ricky Spencer first saw the terrorist-controlled planes crash into New York City’s Twin Towers, to the devastating realization that heroic first responders were losing their lives in rescue attempts, Roswell’s fire chief knew he had to do something to honor their memory.

Today, thanks to the talents of two local artists, a mural depicting the New York City skyline with the Twin Towers still standing graces an interior hallway of Roswell fire station No. 1.

“On the left tower in the mural, if you stand back and look at it only, you can see the image of a firefighter, fully dressed out in their turnout gear in the building. It will take your breath away,” Spencer said.

A firefighter’s helmet emblazoned with “343,” the number of city firefighters who died in the line of duty that day, sits in the middle of an American flag. Nearby, a 50-pound chunk of steel from the World Trade Center is affixed to the wall. Open to public view, this display is the culmination of Spencer’s vision.

“I started to imagine what I wanted to do about five years ago,” the chief said. “The Terry Ferrell Fund was transporting a piece of steel from the Twin Towers from New York to the San Diego Fire Museum and asked could they stop in Roswell to have a public display of the steel.

“I immediately said yes and that day made me want the mural even more. So, I began my search for a piece of the WTC steel and was finally able to get a piece with the help of the Terry Ferrell Fund and it was delivered just over a year ago.”

The Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund was established in memory of Terry Farrell, a decorated member of Rescue 4/FDNY and Chief of Dix Hills Volunteer Fire Department. Having that piece of steel increased Spencer’s desire for a mural.

“Assistant Fire Marshal Chris Cooper visits our schools in Roswell daily. I asked Chris to look around and see if a local artist at one of the schools would be interested. And we found Lucy Williams,” Spencer said.

Williams, an artist and kindergarten teacher from Mimosa Elementary School in Roswell, went to work recreating with the help of Jeannee Williams, a kindergarten assistant at Mimosa.

The mural was complete by April 2013. It and the hunk of steel may be seen at the fire station, 1002 Alpharetta Street, Roswell.
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