The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 9, 2011

A fitting tribute at local speedway

The opening scene to the 1970s cop show Barney Miller truly showcased just how majestic the World Trade Centers were.

A barge is being pushed up the Hudson River while a clear sky showcases the lower Manhattan skyline with the familiar bass solo leading into the show’s theme song.

For television viewers of the 1970s, it’s a memory that will always be with us.

It’s hard to believe that 10 years ago on Sunday, a group of cowards attacked our great nation and caused death and horror on a beautiful September day.

While they thought their actions would bring the greatest nation to its knees, they were wrong! Here in Pennsylvania, there were many heroes aboard United Flight 93 that crashed near Shanksville.

It’s a gut feeling I have, but I believe those heroes who charged the cockpit and kept the plane from its intended target of somewhere in Washington, D.C., were closer to getting control of the plane than we may ever know.

Selinsgrove Speedway will present a 9-11 ceremony Saturday night. As part of the ceremony, an eight-minute audio presentation will play over the loud speakers from local radio stations B98.3 and Y106.5.

At 1 p.m. on Sunday, the Hummels Wharf Fire Company will have a 9-11 ceremony to unveil a piece of WTC steel, a piece of the Pentagon and soil from Shanksville.

The Fire Department of New York lost 343 firefighters that day, the single most loss of life in its history.

If you are a football fan and saw the NFL Films, The Bravest Team: The Rebuilding Of The FDNY Football Club, among the players that stood was Durrell “Bronko” Pearsall.

Pearsall was one of the 22 team members, active and alumni that perished on 9-11. He was a member of Rescue 4 in Queens and a side drummer with the FDNY Emerald Society Pipe & Drums.

An offensive lineman and team captain, he led the team in singing the Irish pub song “Wild Rover” after each game or sometimes pool side on a road trip. To this day, the team still sings that song after each game.

This year, the football team beat the NYPD in the annual Fun City Bowl and went on to win the National Public Safety Football League championship.

The FDNY baseball team lost two members on 9-11, founding father of the baseball team Andre Fletcher from Rescue 5, Staten Island, and Michael Weinberg from Engine 1, Manhattan.

Back on Sept. 1 of this year, they defeated the NYPD baseball team 7-2, to win the gold medal in the 2011 World Police and Fire Games in NYC.

Six members from Engine 10, Ladder 10, were lost on 9-11. Firefighters were able to recover the door from E-10, the sign from L-10 and a mangled Liberty St.

sign. Ten house is across the street from where the Trade Centers once stood.

Over the past eight years in my role as broadcaster for the FDNY baseball team for the annual Widow and Children’s Fund charity game, I have come to see the resolve to never forget the events of 9-11.

While not often spoken about, it is emblazoned in the eyes of every New York City fire fighter to never forget, nor will I.

Rest in peace brothers.

— Shawn Wood covers motorsports for The Daily Item. 

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