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Source: Santee Fire Department

October 16, 2018 (Santee) -- An original art work honoring the sacrifice of first responders on September 11,2001 will make Santee its home for the next three months.

The 3-by-4-foot oil painting portrays a New York firefighter with is head in his hands standing below a tattered American flag with the iconic wreckage of the Twin Towers in the background.

“You just don’t see our men, our heroes, our rescuers break down like that,” artist Kelly Lucas said. “I wanted to show their strength, but also how much they gave.”

The “Traveling 911 Memorial Painting” was commissioned as part of an effort to raise funds to support the families of fallen firefighters. After its initial purchase for $26,000 and display in a Chicago restaurant, the painting returned to Lucas — now a resident of Carlsbad. Lucas again donated the painting, this time to a fundraiser for Next Step Service Dogs.

The winning bidder, Encinitas real estate agent Wendy Moldow, says she realized after bringing the painting home that it deserved a broader audience. She determined to loan it out for display in fire stations and other public buildings in San Diego County.

“It doesn’t belong in my house,” Moldow said. “It belongs with our firefighters, our fire responders, our paramedics — the people that are there for us day in and day out” she said. “I don’t care where they display the painting, whether it’s in the firefighters’ lunch room or out in public.” “I just want them to know that people in the neighborhood know and appreciate who they are and what they do.”

So far, the painting has been displayed in Encinitas, San Marcos, Rancho Santa Fe, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Escondido, Solana Beach and Vista. Moldow’s ultimate goal is to have the canvas displayed in a firefighter museum.

The painting will be installed at 11:00 on Thursday, October 18 at Santee Fire Station #5, located at 9130 Carlton Oaks Boulevard in Santee.