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By Dave Boyce
Almanac Staff Writer
Hundreds of small U.S. flags were on display Saturday (Sept. 11) on lawns at local fire stations in Menlo Park, East Palo Alto and Woodside in memory of the 343 New York City firefighters who died in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
In Woodside, the headquarters station at 3111 Woodside Road had its lawn decorated with 343 flags for the first time, according to Captain Jerry Nave of the Woodside Fire Protection District.
Three locations in Menlo Park had 343 flags on display: Station 1 at 300 Middlefield Road; Station 4 at 3322 Alameda de las Pulgas in West Menlo Park; and Station 6 downtown at 700 Oak Grove Ave.
Flags were also displayed at Station 2 at 2290 University Ave. in East Palo Alto.
A fire district training center at 444 El Camino Real (a former car dealership) had an oversize flag out for the day, said Chief Harold Schapelhouman of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, members of California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 3, which includes firefighters from the Menlo Park district, were deployed to New York City and Washington, D.C. to assist with rescue and recovery operations.
They also served as backup rescue in New York, the chief said. Rescue vehicles being in short supply, the firefighters used an empty beer truck for operations and a prison bus for transportation, he said.
"The flags ... are meant to embrace a common theme among the actual rescue workers and emergency responders nationwide," Chief Schapelhouman said. "That theme is: 'We will never forget!'"