A local L.A. County Firefighter, Jerry Thomsen, and his wife, Merrie Thomsen, will be entering a Tribute float into the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade in memory of 9/11.
The float’s theme is “Never Forget 9/11, Remember, Reflect, Renew.” Merrie observed that, though we swore to “never forget” immediately after the attacks, daily routines have caused Americans to forget. This float will remind Americans on the first day of the 10 year anniversary of the great national tragedy.
The design includes a flag in memory of United Airlines Flight 93, memorial benches for the Pentagon, a 25 foot replica of a mural of firefighters raising the flag, and a copy of a fire hydrant found in the rubble of the World Trade Center.
Premier designer for the Tournament of Roses Parade, Raul Rodriguez, and Charisma Floats, an award winning builder of Rose Parade floats, are working on this memorable float.
Jerry flew to New York one month after the attacks, attended many funerals, and visited Ground Zero. His wife, Merrie, says that he came back a man changed for the better; the memory will stick with him for life.
But, Merrie quickly added that the Thomsen’s story is no different from any other American’s. She proudly stated that we are all united, in the best country, under the American flag.
The Thomsens want this float to be an effort of the American people. Among other donation opportunities, the vials of water holding each flower on the float can be customized with the donator’s name and message.