Kieve-Wavus hosted the 10th Annual Family Camp for families affected by the September 11th tragedies. Individuals and families from a number of FDNY firehouses and Cantor Fitzgerald in New York as well as The Pentagon all arrived at Kieve for another fun-filled and relaxing week on the shores of Damariscotta Lake. Kieve-Wavus Executive Director Henry Kennedy said, “these families have endured unimaginable loss and it has been an honor and a pleasure welcoming them each year to relax, heal and share with one another at Kieve”. Pat Friscia whose brother was a fireman with FDNY Ladder Co 3 said after the week, “this is a very special week for my family, our entire family was at Disney earlier this year and all the kids talked about was coming back to Kieve, it is a special place in our hearts”.
New to the camp this year was world renowned fire engine and equipment restorer Andy Swift of Hope, Maine offering rides to kids and adults in his 1927 American LaFrance fire engine. Andy also hosted a tour of his shop the next day for everyone to see the craftsmanship and detail of his fire equipment restorations. Once again, one evening the firemen took over the kitchen and prepared a delicious Italian dinner for everyone. And back for the 10th time, musician Bruce Marshall and his guest James Montgomery provided great live music and dancing on the last night.
Many of the FDNY families at camp were associated with Ladder Company 3 and Battalion 6 on September 11, 2001 where twelve members were lost while evacuating civilians from the North Tower. On July 20th Ladder 3’s truck “Big Red” became a permanent part of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. A crane lowered the 60,000-lbs. truck 70 feet into the exhibition area. It was wrapped to protect it and draped with an American and FDNY flag. The front of the truck was shorn off in the collapse of the towers and its main body and ladders were damaged beyond repair and some of the company’s rescue tools are entangled in the vehicle. It has been stored at Hangar 17 at JFK International Airport since its recovery.
According to 9/11 Family Camp Director Russ Williams, “we had another incredible week together with 4 new families joining us for the largest camp since 2002. Once again many volunteers along with local businesses and our staff helped make this another very special week for our friends from Washington DC & New York.”
The events of September 11th, 2001 changed the world and changed our lives forever. Thanks to the financial support of many individuals over the years, Kieve has had a unique opportunity to share facilities, it’s wonderful staff and volunteers with these special families. Williams says, “It is very rewarding for all of our staff and volunteers to be able to help these very dear friends who really appreciate our local community and Maine hospitality”.