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In the Pipeline: Monument to brotherhood

February 12, 2013|By Chris Epting
  • A model of the proposed 9/11 sculpture memorial for Huntington Beach.
A model of the proposed 9/11 sculpture memorial for Huntington… (HB Independent )

The twin towers will soon stand in Huntington Beach.

With a little luck and a lot more money, this Sept. 11 will see the unveiling of a remarkable sculpture in front of City Hall. It will feature metallic, exact scale replicas of the World Trade Center towers each standing 9 feet tall.

Created by the renowned local metal artist Patrick Vogel, a small-scale replica of it was on display last Sunday night at the Hyatt Regency where the Building to Remember Gala took place. Building to Remember was formed to help fund the memorial and the event on Saturday went a long way in helping to raise the $200,000 needed to complete the project.

The event was more than just a fundraiser. It was a celebration of heroes, and a chance to reflect and shed tears as we heard the words of officers who were in the thick of everything the day the world changed.

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Retired Capt. Kevin Devlin of the New York City Fire Department spoke about what it was like when a group of officers from Huntington Beach traveled to New York City to not just donate money they raised, but also to get involved in the recovery efforts. More on that in a moment.

We heard from Arlene Howard, mother of Officer George Howard who was killed trying to help a fellow officer that day. The 89-year-old matriarch with the tough New York accent talked about her "little boy" who was lost that day, a man who had demonstrated equally heroic efforts when the World Trade Center was bombed back in 1993.

You may remember when she presented President George Bush with her son's shield. The President used that shield as a symbol to represent all of the men and women who died trying to save others. The president thought so much of Arlene Howard that they became good friends, and she described to this day how Bush stays in touch with her (he also sent a letter that was read at the event).

George Howard's son, Chris Howard, a New York City firefighter got up and spoke about his father. Fighting back tears, he described in wonderful detail his love and admiration for his dad and how sorry he was that he wouldn't be here in four months to watch he and his fiancé get married.

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