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ABOUT US


The 911 Memorial Fountain at Los Angeles Fire Department Fire Station 88 in Sherman Oaks, California has a humble background. It all started in 2002 when local business people and residents Carrie Konjoyan and long time friends Joe and Debbie Lanza were sharing time together. All were deeply committed to our great Country and as usual conversation would come around to the tragic attacks on 9/11. Joe Lanza had a brother, Pat Lanza, that worked for the Mayor's office in New York City. Pat shared with Joe that pieces of the World Trade Center were available for use by local communities as long as the WTC Steel was not used for profit. Joe told Carrie the story and in November of 2002 the Los Angeles Fire Department signed the official paper work to acquire the WTC Steel for use in a Memorial at LAFD Fire Station 88 in Sherman Oaks.

What ensued can only be described as walking in faith. Pat Lanza in New York shared we had to "get" the 750 pound piece of WTC Steel to Sherman Oaks, California. "Cold" phone calls were made to FedEx Freight, who offered to pick up and ground ship the WTC Steel across the country. On Friday, December 6th, 2002 the sacred WTC Steel arrived at its' final resting place amongst firefighters who had been the first in the world on September 11, 2001. These men and women had been called to serve the Nation in a capacity never done before . The 70 member Urban Search and rescue Team, California Task Force 1 was based out of Fire Station 88 in Sherman Oaks, California. Thus the huge connection to 9/11 and why a 9/11 Memorial was so appropriate at the Los Angeles Fire Station 88. California Task Force 1 was the first team that traveled to NYC and Ground Zero and in fact they were the only plane in the air the evening of September 11, 2001 except for military aircraft. Flying out of March Air Force Base in San Bernardino along with specially trained dogs and thousands of pounds of special equipment. They traveled to GZ in hopes they would be able to offer their expert assistance.

 

From the arrival of the WTC Steel to the Dedication Ceremony on December 11, 2004 was two years of nothing short of complete motivation towards a common goal. Joe Lanza, a general contractor called his sub-contractors who willingly offered their time and talents. Joe also donated hundreds of hours and countless monetary support to help build the Memorial. Benefactors from far and wide including Fed Ex Freight once again stepped up to the plate with a financial donation.

The Memorial was built with donations and hundreds of donated work hours. Those donating their time were several firefighters, members of the Urban Search and Rescue Team, members of the Heavy Equipment Company of the Los Angeles Fire Department. In the midst of operating the largest fire station west of the Mississippi construction took place in front of the fire station. The construction, design and acquiring of benefactors was done by Joe Lanza, Carrie Konjoyan and Art Grencci, a retired member of the Los Angeles Police Department. Art had heard about the Memorial and came on board with enthusiasm not to be equaled. Art traveled to GZ several times and spent time in Washington, D.C. as well.

The result was a 100 pound piece of Pentagon Limestone that that was to become a part of the 9/11 Memorial. It somehow seemed all those involved were brought together to help build the memorial. Persistence became the key word, but the goal always was the same, "Never Forget"...The Memorial is here to bring about healing in all forms, to offer a place of quiet solitude, as a tribute to those who risk their lives daily and to Never Forget the lives of those lost by first responders on 9/11.

We, who are involved all shared the same vision to build the Memorial, we believe that all the 9/11 Memorials are connected by their mere existence. It is our deepest desire to see people come and visit as often as they wish, to feel a connection, to heal, to honor those lives lost and honor those who serve daily. We hope our humble memorial will be a stopping point for ALL who wish to come visit, honor, grieve and heal day or nigh. The Memorial stands ready to receive visitors.

On the weekend of September 10th of each year we have a WE REMEMBER WALK. We meet at the Sherman Oaks Galleria and walk the 1/2 mile to the Memorial. Our official Chaplin is Rev. Bill Minson of Today Ministries. Rev. Bill was called to the WTC and still works with family members. He is also with PRAYAMERICAPRAY. They pray every day at noon for victims and families of 9/11. We have hosted many prayers services at the 9/11 Memorial including a 12 hour prayer Vigil for the families and victims of the fatal Esperanza Fire in October of 2006.

Also a Veterans Day prayer service took place at the Memorial. All officiated by Rev. Bill Minson, members of LAFD Fire Station 88. We welcome your comments, visits to our website and hopefully to the Memorial. If you are so motivated to bring flowers, a note, photo or just to sit and pray in your own fashion, you are most welcome to do so. We the involved key persons are committed Americans all of immigrant families who choose this great Country for our families to establish generations to come. Donations are most welcome and appreciated but not necessary. Donations may be made to:

California Community Foundation
Adopt-A-Fire Station
5101 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, California
91403

(please write "designated for the 9/11 Memorial" in memo area)

California Community Foundation, Adopt-A-Fire Station is a 501 (c) 3 status. We encourage you to visit the Memorial feel its' powerful effect and reflect about why it is here.

If you happen to see a fire fighter or law enforcement officer in uniform thank them. They are the heroes who risk their lives for you and me. All the first responders have one major thread going through them, humbleness. Take that from them, use it in your life, worship God, support your Country and community in any small or large way. If you cannot physically be involved, write a check or share your talents. Volunteer, you will receive much more back than you gave.

 
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