By Marisa Thomas
Sept. 11, 2001, was a day of heartbreak and sacrifice. The firefighters and rescue response teams gave their all. That’s why Bill Stewart, a retired chief of fire and rescue for the Baltimore Washington International Airport, decided to raise money to get an airport fire truck that was used to respond to the attack at the Pentagon, to the Smithsonian, instead of a junkyard.
“Two and a half years ago I was coming home from Myrtle Beach from my dear friends funeral, and I was thinking as I was driving that it would be nice to be able to find a way to honor airport firefighters . . . So, the truck now is in the museum. We are looking at a formal dedication sometime around Sept. 11, of this year,” Stewart said.
He raised the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to refurbish and transport the truck to the Smithsonian Air and Space Center in Virginia, where it now sits among other large pieces of history. Stewart made the announcement in a room full of supporters at The Moose Club in Harborcreek.
“It’s been a blessing in the fact that with The Moose they’ve allowed me to come here. They’ve allowed me to talk on behalf of the project. They’ve welcomed the project as an outreach to the community because once again, that’s what the news is all about, and it’s a big outreach, but still, they supported me every step of the way.”
Proof that The Moose Club isn’t just a place to play bingo, but an organization that makes a difference.
“As Moose people travel around, we hope they get in to see that big yellow fire truck in a Smithsonian Institute. You’ll know that you were part of it. The Moose overall helped tremendously to put that fire truck in there. So, thank you to all members of the Moose and everybody who was involved and helped in that organization,” Rich Weismiller, manager of East Erie Moose Lodge in Haborcreek said.