Bakersfield City Fire Station 15 remembers the fallen heroes of Sept. 11

Posted at 4:15 PM, Sep 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-11 19:17:54-04
A fire station in Southwest Bakersfield held a more solemn ceremony this morning than last year.
Bakersfield City Fire Station 15, designed to commemorate the fallen heroes and victims of the attacks on Sept. 11 brings together memorabilia that brings most people in Bakersfield the closest they'll ever get to being a part of that day.
When a steel beam, part of the North Tower, was brought to Bakersfield from New York City an idea was born during a demonstration with a father and his children.
"The father asked the children 'what do you guys remember about 9/11?' and they said they remembered something about a plane hitting a building," Alexander Clark, Captain of Bakersfield City Fire said.
It was then that the department realized they needed to do more to educate the youth.
"For us it's something that happened that is part of our lives... but for them it's all history," Clark said.
The memorial itself acts as a sun dial and casts a shadow over each medallion, which represent each time a plane crashed that day. The steel beam isn't the only piece of memorabilia that calls station 15 home.
The Survivor Tree was the last living thing taken out of Ground Zero. It was replanted and nursed back to health by officials who rescued it sixteen years ago. Once it reached its full potential, it began to drop seedlings.
A high school in Queens replanted 200 of those seedlings and one of those trees ended up here with the help of a congressman who recently visited the city that never sleeps.
"Congressman Kevin McCarthy, our representative here, was in New York and heard about the Survivor Tree program... he worked his magic over on the East Coast to get us involved," Jeff Heinle, Bakersfield City Fire Captain said.
For first responders this day touches closer to home because of their training. Heinle explained that on that Tuesday morning in 2001 he was working at station 7.
He remembers the day clearly, even recalled the weather, because all he could think about was his fire training and how all those fire men and officers in New York City at the time had the same training.
They knew they were risking their lives to save others.