Scott Townley, a Fullerton Resident, is a fire fighter with the Orange County Fire Authority and every year he erects a memorial to the fallen men and women of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Every year Townley uses his vacation days to set up and watch over his memorial from September 6 to September 12.
This is his 14th year hosting the memorial and it continues to grow. As the men and women who worked on “The Pile” during the rescue and clean up pass away due to the various toxins they were exposed to, Townley’s memorial expands.
It all started with started with a sign that Townley posted in his yard, but it didn’t stay that way for long.
“From there it just grew. It started growing exponentially with flags, people were leaving magazine articles, pictures and things like that and it just grew from there.” Townley said.
People from all over come to see this memorial. It has been featured on multiple major news outlets and the crowd varies from year to year.
This year’s turnout was modest compared to last year, but that doesn’t bother Townley.
“It’s ok with me, I mean last year it was packed. Their were news vans up and down the street and it was busy.” Townley said. “Next year is a leap year and it falls on a Sunday so I’m expecting a rather large turn out.”
The memorial has separate sections for the different service men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice; FDNY, NYPD, New York Port Authority, civilians, 9/11 rescue and clean up members and Military lives lost in The War on Terror.
When Townley meets a family member of one of the fallen, he gives them the flag or cross that bears the name of their loved one, and replaces the flag.
The entire memorial was created by Townley, but the neighborhood helps him set up on September 6 and tear down on September 12.
At 8:54 a.m. Townley explained his memorial and introduced the daughter of a fellow fire fighter to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner”. By 9:00 a.m. he had called for a moment of silence which was followed by “Amazing Grace” played by a local bagpiper followed by various other hymns.
After the music was over, people gathered to talk and many stood in reverence of the memorial remembering those we lost and the experience from 14 years ago.
Local police even stopped by to pay their respects.
“We make an attempt to be here every year,” said Sgt. Wren and Officer Song when asked if the Fullerton Police Department was here on official business.
The visiting spectators seemed to appreciate the presence of the police as many thanked them for attending and their service.
The memorial is located at 863 N. Woods Ave. Fullerton, CA 92831 and will be up for the remainder of today with tear down beginning tomorrow morning.