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7's HERO: Visit the Idaho World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial in Boise

Did you know Idaho has a 9/11 memorial that incorporates a piece of the fallen World Trade Center? It's located at Idaho Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park in Boise.

BOISE, Idaho — This week marks 22 years since the terror attacks of 9/11. The attacks killed close to three thousand Americans. 343 first responders died that day trying to save lives. 

Although the tragedy happened in New York, there is also a local memorial people can visit. The Idaho World Trade Center Memorial in Boise is a solemn place where people can go to remember and honor those lost on that dreadful day. 

Nampa Fire Department Captain Dave O'Connor said that September 11, 2001, feels like yesterday.  

"I remember when 9/11 happened I was coming into work, and my phone at the time was blowing up," O'Connor said. "Instantly we all went and sat in front of the TV at the time. I was born and raised on the east coast. I had a very close friend that was killed there that day. So, for me, it was very, very personal."

O'Connor was one of three Idaho firefighters instrumental in bringing a piece of the World Trade Center to Boise. Steel from the building has been incorporated into memorials across the country in every state. 

"We wanted to have something here, getting the piece here was very important because of the impact that that day had on everybody," O'Connor said.  

When the ten-foot beam from the World Trade Center finally arrived in Idaho, O'Connor and his fellow firefighters worked with the city and the Boise Arts and History Commission to turn that piece of history into a work of art. Local artist Amber Klinsky was commissioned to create a spectacular memorial at what is now Idaho Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park. She incorporated the beam into the memorial. Rings of polished stainless-steel surround the beam.

"The memorial was put in and dedicated on September 11, 2012, eleven years after the tragic events of 9/11," Jamile Shirley, Boise City Department of Arts and History, said. "I think it's really important for people to come here and see this, and to recognize that that is actually a piece of the World Trade Center. This is really a space that people can come to and remember what happened."

There is also a panel nearby with the names of the first responders killed on 9/11 engraved on it. 

"The panel is really special; it has 343 names on it. When people walk through and read those names, I think it's important to remember the families and the sacrifices of those individuals," Shirley said. 

Boise Parks and Recreation director Doug Holloway said the park on Shoreline Drive is a special place that many people don't know about. The Idaho Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park is a 5-acre site on the Greenbelt west of downtown Boise. The park features memorials for fallen firefighters and for 9/11. A memorial plaza to honor Idaho's Fallen Firefighters opened Aug. 17, 2008. The plaza features a life-size bronze statue by Idaho artist Agnes Vincent "Rusty" Talbot, and a memorial wall with the names of Idaho firefighters who died in the line of duty. 

"This was actually the perfect place to put it, and having the Fallen Firefighters Memorial here, it just made sense that the memorial from the World Trade Center would be here. It's a great place to come and reflect on this anniversary, a way to feel connected," Holloway said. 

O'Connor said seeing Idaho Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park come to life over the years is really special. He was there from the very beginning. 

"It seems like just yesterday," O'Connor said. "At that time, it really brought us together. 9/11 was a life changing event, and it's awful that it happened, but it brought us together closer as a community and it unified us."  

The Idaho World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial is located at the Idaho Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park, 1791 W. Shoreline Dr., just off the Boise River greenbelt. 

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