With the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks approaching, Botsford Fire Chief Wayne Ciaccia proposed to the other members of the volunteer department that they commission a mural in remembrance of that day.
“We’ve been wanting to do it for a long time,” the fire chief said. “The 10th anniversary is coming up and we finally got it together.”
The subject of the mural would be the famous image of three New York firefighters raising a U.S. flag in the rumble of the World Trade Center, which was originally captured by The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record photographer Thomas E. Franklin on Sept. 11, 2001.
To do the work, Ciaccia contacted Rob Lee, who was known at the firehouse for his .
Lee, who grew up in Newtown and the surrounding area, said he has done other artwork in the past, but nothing of the same magnitude.
“I was intimidated by it really,” he said, adding he wanted to make sure he got the depiction just right so as to not offend anyone.
Lee said it was a daunting task because he wanted to make sure he included enough details of the photo into the mural. So far, the depiction, which was painted on the side of the Botsford fire house facing south on South Main Street, has earned good reviews from the department's firefighters.
“It’s so detailed, it’s unbelievable,” Ciaccia said of the mural.
Lee said working on the mural for a couple of weeks, he almost felt as if he was transported to the scene.
“I was just enthralled by the whole thing,” he said of the project.
Ciaccia said this year, like past ones, he and a group of firefighters intend to make the trip to New York City to stand in support of friends and other firefighters on Sept. 11.
While the mural itself is complete, plans also are underway to add other pieces of artwork along the wall of the firehouse.