Posted at: 11/11/2013 5:15 PM
Updated at: 11/11/2013 6:22 PM
By: Mark Mulholland
SARATOGA SPRINGS - Several dozen people gathered in High Rock Park Monday morning.
They were here on this Veteran's Day---police officers, firefighters, first responders---to rededicate a memorial to the lives lost in the attacks of 9/11.
New York City Firefighter Rich Euler was there that day 12 years ago as his comrades of Rescue 4 were killed.
"I got to the Trade Center as the second tower was coming down," said Euler, who was not scheduled to work that day but was called in.
Euler, who moved to Saratoga County not long after the attacks, was among those here to celebrate the newly landscaped monument.
Called "Tempered by Memory," it is sculpted of twisted steel beams from the downed towers of the World Trade Center.
"It's a very emotional feeling to take a look at this, to see what is left. It reminds me of the guys that we lost and all the people we lost. Out of the 343 guys we lost, I knew at least 100 of them very, very closely. We lost 14 in my house alone," Euler said.
It's been here for more than a year, but now thanks in large part to the ambition of retired golfer Dottie Pepper, the monument has the setting it deserves.
Pepper became motivated after she found out that Saratoga Springs wasn't going to mark 9/11 this year and she learned that there was no plan to care for the memorial and its grounds.
She reached out to elected leaders, police and firefighters, businesses and service organizations like the Elks Club. Now, fittingly on Veteran's Day, this proud memorial has a home that Saratoga can be proud of.
"It's terrific," said Pepper. "It's just great proof that nothing has to be political to happen. And it was so quick to all come together."
Rich Euler looks forward to bringing his granddaughters here, proud that his adopted hometown is paying proper tribute to his fallen friends.
"To have everyone else understand what you went through and to do something like this, is very, very important."