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Thread: Calif. bench honors fallen

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    Calif. bench honors fallen

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010


    Calif. bench honors fallen
    Extended fire family wants memorial in city


    By Hunter Amabile SPECIAL TO THE TELEGRAM & GAZETTE

    Across the country in California sits a concrete bench engraved with the names of the Worcester Six, the firefighters who died in the 1999 Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building fire.

    The bench was created six years ago, when a high school junior named Carolyn Cuzynski completed a school assignment to build a mock memorial commemorating a piece of American history from the last 100 years. While her classmates at Alta Loma High School scribbled down their tributes to World War II and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack victims on the backs of paper plates, Ms. Cuzynski decided to take the assignment a step further.


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    Saint-Gobain to bring bench honoring firefighters to city

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010


    Saint-Gobain to bring bench honoring firefighters to city



    By Hunter Amabile SPECIAL TO THE TELEGRAM & GAZETTE


    WORCESTER — After six years of sitting idle on the Cuzynski family’s front porch in San Gabriel, Calif., a memorial bench made in honor of the six firefighters who died in the Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building fire in Worcester will make its way to the city thanks to Compagnie de Saint-Gobain.

    The French-based company, which ships grinding machines all over the world, has offered to foot the bill for the cross-country journey of the more-than-150-pound concrete bench designed by Carolyn Cuzynski.

    Saint-Gobain employee Donna D. Zalauskas forwarded a copy of a story in yesterday’s Telegram & Gazette about the plight of the bench to some of the higher-ranking officers in the company. Immediately, she heard back from two general managers. Ms. Zalauskas, who works in human resources, was told to gather all of the information and the company would take care of the rest.

    “It’s all in the works,” she said yesterday.

    For 10 years, Saint-Gobain has provided free storage for boxes and boxes of memorabilia and donations received by the Fire Department in conjunction with the Cold Storage fire.

    “It’s a natural response that we have to help the community,” Ms. Zalauskas said of the company’s gesture.

    Now that the bench is coming back to Worcester, Fire Lt. Donald J. Courtney sees it going to one of two places: the Grove Street Fire Station or the Franklin Street Fire Station. However, he hopes the bench will first go to the storage room at Saint-Gobain, until a definite location for it is decided upon.

    “It will find an appropriate place,” said Lt. Courtney. “It could be put in the ground before cold weather.”

    He was in Charleston, S.C., yesterday speaking with firefighters there who experienced a similar tragedy: Nine died there in a 2007 furniture warehouse fire.

    Ms. Cuzynski, who designed the bench for a high school project in 2004, said she always had hoped there would be a way for it to get to Worcester.

    “For a while, we thought the only way it would get there would be if we put it in the back of our car,” she said.

    Ms. Cuzynski hopes the bench could be put somewhere in the city where people can see it.

    “This memorial is already done,” Ms. Cuzynski said. “To put it in a park doesn’t seem too outrageous.”

    But she said the bench is a gift from the Cuzynski family to the city of Worcester and the city can do what it thinks is right.

    Saint-Gobain is waiting to get the dimensions and shipping specifications from the Fire Department before the bench can be shipped. The arrangements will be made through the company’s transportation department.

    http://www.telegram.com/article/2010...368/1101/local

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