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Local responders reflect on 9/11 artifact memorial

DEPOSIT (WBNG) — The Deposit Fire Department partnered with the Deposit Rotary Club to honor the brave responders with a piece from the Twin Towers.

“This artifact is a piece of the aluminum cladding. It was mostly noted for the changing of color at sunrise and sunset each day. It gave the exterior that golden shine, as they used to say,” said Chris Zacharias, Deposit Fire Department Assistant Chief.

According to Zacharias, the towers were covered with over two million square feet of the paneling, but only a few hundred feet managed to survive. This artifact in particular, though, is one of the few left in nearly perfect condition. For local responders that traveled to New York City, the memories come flowing back.

“Total darkness actually, when we first arrived. We went through Chelsea Piers first, and that’s when we got dispatched, and we got transported down into what we call the pile, because that’s exactly what it was, that’s right into Ground Zero. We were designated to go help out the firefighters and rescuers working to save folks,” said Craig Conklin, a 9/11 responder from Deposit.

For some, the memories can be difficult to talk about.

“A few of the firemen would come out, glass stuck in their arm. They would come out, and say, ‘pull it out, sew it up, and send me back.’ I can’t say it was a good experience, but one we’ll never forget,” said Randy Hartz, another local responder.

Deposit will be honoring the artifact and those perished in a ceremony on 9/11. The ceremony is located on Front Street in Deposit, and begins at 6:30 p.m.

Katie Jones

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