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Community party with a somber element

Posted: June 22nd, 2018 | News, Top Stories | No Comments

By Doug Curlee | Editor at Large

Annual LMFD Pancake Breakfast featured 9/11 painting that travels to different fire stations

The La Mesa Fire Department had a heck of a party on June 10.

It’s an event they throw once a year for La Mesa residents and anyone who has an appetite.

The annual Pancake Breakfast served up well over 1,000 pancake and sausage plate breakfasts for a dirt-cheap price, in order to fund their Explorer program and any other needs that develop. It once helped out a firefighter whose wife had some serious medical problems.

Hundreds of La Mesans turned out for the fire department’s annual Pancake Breakfast. (Photo by Doug Curlee)

“We get a big kick out of doing this every year. People always show up in big numbers and seem to have a really good time. For us, it’s not work at all,” says Heartland/La Mesa Fire Chief Colin Stowell.

With kids climbing all over the fire trucks, ringing bells and laughing, a good time was had by all.

But there was a somber element here as well.

North County Realtor Wendy Moldow brought along her life project, a stark and touching painting that brings up memories that no American will ever forget, and should always remember: The attack on New York City, now known as 9/11 — the destruction of the World Trade Center by terrorists flying airliners into both towers, bringing them down.

Wendy Moldow’s painting of 9/11 first responders will be on display in the La Mesa fire station for three months. (Photo by Doug Curlee)

Hundreds of New York first responders died in that attack, and the painting quickly reminds those who know about it, and shows those maybe too young to remember, what it was all about.

Moldow acquired the painting from a restauranteur who bought it and hung it in his establishment, only to hear people complain how depressing it was.

Moldow now takes the painting to fire departments all over San Diego County, where it spends three months on display wherever the departments want to place it.

La Mesans lining up for the pancake breakfast (Photo by Doug Curlee)

“The painting belongs to the people, and I want everyone possible to see it and understand what it’s all about — what happened, and how it affects first responders everywhere, not just in New York.”

Dave Blackford was explaining to his granddaughter what is was about.

“I don’t think she totally understands it yet, but she will, and she’ll know what it means,” he said.

The painting will be on display at La Mesa Fire Headquarter at 8054 Allison St. for the next three months, and then it’ll head to another department for a three-month stay.

Moldow says she’s got a lot of departments to go.

They’ll all see it sooner or later.

And they’ll all remember.

As if we could ever forget.

—Doug Curlee is Editor at Large. Reach him at doug@sdcnn.com.

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